Ardian buys into German utilities major EWE

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Ardian has become an anchor backer of German energy, telecoms and IT business EWE – one of the biggest utilities businesses in the country.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, although EWE had sales of about €5.7bn last year.

Ardian has taken a 26 per cent stake in the business, with plans to help the company invest particularly in the strategic areas of renewable energy, telecommunications and networks.

EWE and EWE-Verband had been gradually acquiring shares back from former partner EnBW since Autumn 2015, with plans to find a new investor.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office, which is expected in the first quarter of 2020.
Mathias Burghardt, member of Ardian’s executive committee and head of infrastructure at Ardian, said, “As Europe’s leading investor in infrastructure, we make long-term commitments to companies that play a key role in people’s everyday lives and actively promote the energy revolution.

“With its activities in the areas of energy, telecommunications, networks, data and mobility, EWE is leading the way in efforts to bring about the energy revolution, while at the same time taking into account the needs of all its stakeholders such as customers, employees and the region as a whole.”

Michael Reuther, a director in Ardian’s infrastructure team responsible for the shareholding in EWE, added, “EWE’s customers will benefit from targeted investments in cutting-edge infrastructure and top-quality products.

“EWE employees know that their jobs in a climate-friendly company are secure and attractive in the long term. Both the region and society can rely on a sustainable supplier with regional roots, access to growth capital and innovative technologies.”
Ardian closed its most recent infrastructure fund on €6.1bn earlier this year, after less than six months on the road.
Its largest investor group in Ardian Infrastructure Fund V is from Germany, representing more than 20 per cent of the fund volume.
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