RWE considering Gelsenwasser too
- From: Vol 2, Issue 9 (September 2001)
- Category: Companies
- Region: Europe
- Country: Germany
- Related Companies: Eon, Gelsenwasser, Ruhrgas and RWE
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RWE HAS ALSO REPORTEDLY set its sights on a takeover of Gelsenwasser, part of the Eon Group.
Although official confirmation is not to be had, the company appears to believe that acquisition of Germany’s largest water company with an annual turnover of DM710 million (€365 million) and five
million customers would not be challenged by the cartel authorities because the German water market is so fragmented.
When asked by GWI, RWE refused to comment further.
A takeover of Eon’s water business by RWE could contribute to cutting the Gordian clinch between the two companies over future ownership of Ruhrgas, Germany’s largest gas transmission company. Eon has a 25% stake in Ruhrgas and wants to take control. One route to a majority is through the RAG Group which indirectly holds 18.2% in Ruhrgas, and in which Eon and rival RWE are minority stakeholders.
Industry observers speculate that RWE might relinquish its share in RAG to Eon to give the latter a stronger voice in Ruhrgas, if in return RWE received an attractive offer from Eon. Gelsenwasser might be on the list of possibilities.
In the meantime, RWE Aqua has announced that it intends to cooperate more closely with municipal utilities in a bid to strengthen its presence in the German water market. “In the coming years we will be focusing on acquisitions to expand in the municipal sector,” said RWE spokesman Bernd Schweer.