RWE unveils sales of majority stake in grid operator

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German power company RWE said on Thursday it will sell a majority stake in its transmission systems operator Amprion to a consortium of investors for almost one billion euros ($1.4 billion).

The deal, which concerns a 74.9 percent holding in Amprion, values the entire operator at 1.3 billion euros, a statement said, putting the sale price close to 974 million euros.

The consortium consists mainly of German institutional investors, including insurance companies and pension funds, and is managed by Commerz Real AG, a unit of Commerzbank, the statement added.

RWE plans to retain 25.1 percent of Amprion, the largest of the four German transmission systems operators, it said.

RWE would also temporarily own a stake in the consortium, providing it with an additional indirect share of 10.8 percent, the statement said.

"Network expansion requires very high levels of investment and we are spreading this burden," RWE chief executive Juergen Grossmann was quoted as saying.

RWE has already announced a divestment programme worth up to eight billion euros as part of a medium-term strategy.

© 2011 AFP

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