VERBUND Interest in Poweo Under Way

5/22/2006Wien

The 25% interest of VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company, in French supplier of energy Poweo is under way. Following positive assessment by the respective antitrust authorities and corresponding resolution by the Poweo general assembly, the closing of the transaction has now taken place.

VERBUND’s interest in Poweo S.A., a company in operation since 2002 and steadily growing, France’s largest independent electricity and gas supplier, constitutes the logical continuation of VERBUND’s growth strategy. VERBUND, which is investing around 40 million Euro in its 25% interest, will be the largest shareholder of the Paris stock-listed company. The business will in future be managed jointly with founder and CEO Charles Beigbeder.

Poweo is the strongest competitor of the state-owned EdF with approx. 100,000 business customers. On 1 July 2007 the French electricity market with over 30 million households will open up completely.

Moreover, VERBUND and Poweo have signed a Joint Venture agreement regarding the construction of new power plants with a total output of 1,200 megawatt (MW) in France. The first project with 400 MW in Pont sur Sambre is already in the phase of implementation.

France is the second largest electricity market after Germany within the European Union and offers substantial growth potential to new suppliers.