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Acquisition of Alpiq's shares in Swissgrid: BKW and SIRESO reach agreement on their share in Swissgrid
Bern (ots) - SIRESO and BKW Netzbeteiligung AG ('BKW N') have reached an agreement regarding the acquisition of Alpiq's shares in Swissgrid. BKW N is to acquire 30.3% of Swissgrid shares and will sell approximately 4.4% of these to SIRESO. This transaction will provide BKW N with a significant shareholding of approximately 37% in Swissgrid and will enable SIRESO to represent the interests of the French-speaking cantons by opening up opportunities in the long term.
Under the terms of the agreement, BKW N is to acquire 30.3% of Swissgrid shares held by Alpiq, worth some CHF 300 million. It will then sell around 4.4% of these shares to SIRESO under the same conditions agreed with Alpiq.
Following BKW N's decision to exercise its pre-emptive right over Alpiq's interest, the dialogue between BKW N and SIRESO has allowed to find a mutually acceptable solution. This will allow Swiss institutional investors to participate in the shareholder base of fixed assets, which are strategic for Switzerland.
The corresponding contracts have been signed. ElCom has taken notice of the agreement between the parties and there is now no reason why the pending process should not be closed at SIRESO's request. These transactions are subject to approval by the Swissgrid Board of Directors.
'This stake in Swissgrid is of considerable strategic importance to BKW as it will generate stable revenues - a real asset for an energy and infrastructure services provider like BKW in today's climate,' says BKW CEO Suzanne Thoma. 'We are delighted to have reached an agreement that is mutually acceptable to all parties concerned and reflects their interests,' adds Roland Dörig, Managing Partner of Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners AG ('CSEIP'), CSEIP is the investment manager of CSA Energy Infrastructure Switzerland, which holds a share of 49.9% in BKW N.
Laurent Balsiger, Chairman of SIRESO's Board of Directors, also welcomes the agreement reached with BKW: 'Holding a share in Swissgrid, SIRESO is taking a first, but no less significant step on behalf of its investors and the French-speaking cantons, with the possibility of taking the place currently held by Alpiq on Swissgrid's Board of Directors. This initiative is sure to create opportunities in the long term and offers an interesting return to the pension funds as SIRESO's major shareholders.'
SIRESO is an intercantonal investment company in the electricity sector, set up in 2015 at the initiative of the French-speaking cantons (Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg, Valais, Neuchâtel and Jura) with the aim of acquiring an interest in Swissgrid and representing the interests of French-speaking Switzerland in this field. Its shareholders include institutional investors and energy companies in Western Switzerland: Caisse de pensions de la commune de Lausanne (CPCL, VD), Caisse de pensions de l'Etat de Vaud (CPEV, VD), Caisse de prévoyance du personnel de l'Etat de Fribourg (CPPEF, FR), Caisse intercommunale de pensions (CIP, VD), ENERDIS Distribution société coopérative (VD), Energie Sion région (VS), EOS Holding, Etablissement cantonal d'assurance (ECA, VD), FMV SA (VS), Groupe E (FR), Retraites Populaires (VD), Romande Energie Holding SA (VD), Services industriels de Genève (GE), SIE SA, Service intercommunal de l'électricité (VD) et Viteos SA (NE).
BKW Netzbeteiligung AG
BKW Netzbeteiligung AG is a subsidiary of BKW AG. 50.1 % of its shares are held by BKW AG, with the remaining 49.9 % held by CSA Energy Infrastructure Switzerland. BKW Netzbeteiligung AG currently holds a 10.76 % interest in the national grid company Swissgrid. The BKW Group is an international energy and infrastructure business with its headquarters in Bern, and employs almost 5,000 people. The diversity of the company's expertise ensures that it can offer customers comprehensive and tailored services. It designs, builds and operates infrastructure to produce and supply energy for businesses, households and the public sector. The company offers a wide range of services, including construction technologies, infrastructure engineering, digital commercial models in the renewable energy sector and traditional multi-utility infrastructure services. BKW SA's registered shares are quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the BX Berne eXchange. CSA Energy Infrastructure Switzerland is an investment arm of the Credit Suisse Investment Foundation (CSA). The investment group uses invests in capital-intensive Swiss energy infrastructure assets via Credit Suisse funds. It is only available to Swiss pension funds and provident societies. It holds interests in FluxSwiss, which in turn has an interest in Transitgas SA and Romande Energie Holding SA.