Vattenfall offers 'Stromnetz Berlin GmbH' to Berlin to end dispute


writer icon Lily Olsson     Claudio Schwarz   |   Business     🕐 05. Nov. 2020

Vattenfall has offered the State of Berlin the option to buy all shares in Stromnetz Berlin GmbH.

A potential outcome to end years of dispute over the electricity concession and pave the way to continued development of the electricity grid - for the benefit of customers, employees and the citizens of Berlin.

The offer gives the State of Berlin the opportunity to take over the entire electricity network business and, together with Vattenfall, end the legal disputes that have been going on for many years.

“It was a difficult decision for Vattenfall to put Stromnetz Berlin up for sale. We are proud of this solid and well-managed company with its highly competent and committed staff. That is why we have been very committed to secure the electricity concession and to further develop the grid to meet the challenges of the 'Energiewende' in Berlin,” said Magnus Hall, previous CEO of Vattenfall.

“However, even after the recent success at the Berlin Court of Appeal, we cannot expect a timely concession decision in favour of Vattenfall. The prospect of further years of litigation not only places a burden on the company, but also makes it difficult to make decisions on the upcoming billion-euro investments," said Hall.

"Such decisions can only be made with clarity on the framework conditions. That is why we would like to take a major step to finally settle the deadlock and seek cooperation with the State of Berlin on the way to a fossil free future," he said.

Vattenfall can now concentrate entirely on its business in Germany and devote all its attention and resources to fulfil its promise to make a fossil free living possible within one generation.

“Berlin will remain an important location for Vattenfall and we plan to invest heavily in the conversion to a fossil free heat supply in the city. This will contribute more than any other sector to the planned reduction of CO2 emissions in the German capital. In addition, we will enable over 1.3 million Berlin households to heat in a climate neutral way in the future," said Anna Borg, President and CEO of Vattenfall.

"We will remain Berlin's largest electricity supplier and will continue to supply around 1.6 million electricity and gas customers in Berlin and 3.8 million nationwide. Now we want to pave the way for a good cooperation with the City of Berlin,” Borg added.

The purchase offer to the State of Berlin is still subject to the approval of the Board of Directors at Vattenfall AB and the supervisory board at Vattenfall GmbH and the related antitrust authorities.

If the State of Berlin decides to accept the offer, the transaction could be completed during the first half of 2021.

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