Energie Austria on the home stretch

5/25/2000Wien

Soon Austria, through Energie Austria, could hold a new star within the European power supply industry.

The Boards of Management of the three partners Energie AG OÖ, ESTAG and VERBUND have signed a statement on the syndicate agreement. Only the owners' decisions can now hinder Energie Austria’s operative start.

Energie Austria will be the undisputed market leader in the country and at the same time follow an offensive expansion strategy in Europe. The merger enables a lasting potential of synergies amounting to about 3.8 billion Austrian Schillings per year and increases the value of the company by more than a quarter. A lose cooperation according to the unanimous consensus of the experts would not have made such effects possible.

Leadership of costs and a rigid cost management are a question of survival in a competition with no boarders. The merger project of Energie Austria positions Energie AG OÖ, ESTAG and VERBUND as strong players on the European electrical power market. Chairman of VERBUND Hans Haider: „The advantages due to the size after the merger, the unique generating structure and the complete integration of all stages of added value ensure a key position on the international power supply market. Energie Austria will be the leading Austrian power supply company with a local market share of 55 percent, aggregating a 41,000 GWh.“

Energie Austria disposes of a quota of water power of almost 90 percent and thus is the leading manufacturer of renewable energy within the EU. The high proportion of water power makes the company to a great extent independent of price variations on the primary energy sector.

The geographical position and the generating structure offer Energie Austria the ideal prerequisite for active power trading, locally but also with the neighbouring countries. In addition to the development of the market share in Austria, Energie Austria is planning in particular to expand towards Southern and Eastern Europe.

Adolf Fehringer, Speaker of the Board of ESTAG, on the outstanding initial situation of Energie Austria: „The formation of Energie Austria enables synergies and a gain amounting to 3.8 billion ATS per year. Thus Energie Austria achieves with an EBIT margin of 20 % internationally comparable values. The equity capital value improves from 81.5 billion ATS by 26 % to 103 billion ATS. This result as well as leadership of costs can not be achieved through a lose cooperation.“

With the bundling of trade activities and a clearly defined growth strategy Energie Austria is aiming for a top-position on the European power supply market. „Our key qualification in this competition“, says the GM of Energie AG OÖ Leo Windtner, „is very clearly based on the optimization of procurement and a customer-oriented, expansionary market strategy. Studies have shown us that especially industry and trade above all need to be able to rely on a guaranteed supply in addition to an attractive price. This is exactly where Energie Austria can develop its strengths in the future.“

Company structure of Energie Austria

The ten Members of the Board of Management of the participating partners Energie AG OÖ, ESTAG and VERBUND have led this merger, with the signing of the statement on the syndicate agreement, towards the final goal.

The company structure of Energie Austria is planning a holding with five operational companies (production, trade, network, sales, service). The main focus was to exert the utmost of the synergy potential whilst maintaining regional strengths. Energie Austria continues to be open for further partners.

The necessary resolutions of the general annual meetings of Energie AG OÖ, ESTAG and VERBUND should be made by September 2000. Then Energie Austria GmbH will be transformed from a limited liability company to a public limited company and the bodies appointed. By the end of September 2000 Energie Austria will start operating.