Vattenfall has offered to sell to the State of Berlin all its shares in Stromnetz Berlin GmbH, a partial successor of the municipal utility BEWAG, that has operated Berlin's power grid for almost 130 years. This should end years of disputes over the electricity concession and pave the way to continued development of the electricity grid.
“It was a difficult decision for Vattenfall to put Stromnetz Berlin up for sale. We are proud of this solid and well-managed company … that is why we have been committed to securing the electricity concession and to further develop the grid to meet the challenges of the ‘Energiewende’ in Berlin,” says Magnus Hall, president and 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. 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".
“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 carbon dioxide emissions in the German capital. We will remain Berlin's largest electricity supplier … now we want to pave the way for a good co-operation with the City of Berlin,” says Anna Borg, CFO and incoming CEO of Vattenfall.
The purchase offer is still subject to the approval of the Board of Directors at Vattenfall AB and the supervisory board at Vattenfall GmbH and the related anti-trust authorities. If the State of Berlin decides to accept the offer, the transaction could be completed during the first half of 2021.