UNIPER enters exclusive negotiations with EPH for the sale of its activities in France

24. 12. 2018

Energetický a průmyslový holding, a. s. (“EPH”), through its wholly owned subsidiary EP Power Europe, has filed an unilateral binding offer to UNIPER SE in relation to a prospective acquisition of its business activities in France. Subsequently, UNIPER SE decided to enter into exclusive negotiations for the sale of its activities in France with EPH. The aim of EPH is to acquire all activities and assets of UNIPER SE in France. The next step will include mandatory consultations with the employees’ representative bodies with an aim for these consultations to commence in January 2019. Prospective transaction would be concluded pursuant to a completion of above consultations and satisfactions of other conditions precedent.

„We are proud to have the opportunity to enter the French electricity market which plays a key role in Europe,“ said Jan Špringl, vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of EPH and EP Power Europe.
„The potential acquisition of Uniper France perfectly fits to the strategy of EP Power Europe to further expand its presence in the European power generation sector. It’s in line with our mission which is to provide a reliable and cost competitive power supply to European citizens and industry through our balanced and diversified generation fleet,” he added.

„Uniper France faces a special situation where the two coal fired power plants, which are essential assets of the company both in terms of installed capacity and number of employees, have a limited life time based on the decision of the French government. As the company is largely organized around these assets, their closure will require conceptual reorganization and definition of a new strategy of the company. We are at the same time fully aware of the social aspect of the potential closure of the coal plants. EPH understands the importance of the shareholder´s role in the process of delivering new perspectives for the employees and the company in particular with respect to the Gardanne and Saint-Avold industrial sites. We believe we are ideally positioned for this role,” further commented Špringl.

„As a part of our strategy for the French power market, we have established a partnership with Total which may lead to a transfer of the two gas fired power plants which are currently operated by Uniper France to Total post closing of the transaction with Uniper. The economics of two gas fired power plants would be negatively impacted by the coal fired plants closure. We sincerely believe that their competitiveness and strategic value would be increased in the larger gas-fired portfolio of Total,” Jan Špringl concluded.

EPH is a vertically integrated energy group that owns and operates energy infrastructure and power generation assets in 7 European countries – Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The headquarters of EPH are located in Prague, Czech Republic. EPH currently employs more than 25.000 people and ranks as the largest operator of energy infrastructure in Central Europe and as 6th largest power producer in Europe. Its consolidated EBITDA reached EUR 1.9bn in 2017 and total assets amounts to EUR 12,8 bln. EPH is principally structured in two key subsidiaries – EP Infrastructure and EP Power Europe.
Energy infrastructure of EPH is owned and operated through EP Infrastructure who operates the largest EU gas transmission pipeline, located in Slovakia, with capacity of 80 bcm/year which secures reliable gas supplies to multiple European countries, including for instance Italy, Austria or Ukraine, further gas and power distribution networks in Slovakia, sizable gas storages in Slovakia and Czech Republic and large-scale heat distribution networks in the Czech Republic. EP Infrastructure is a controlled by EPH (69%) while international investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets holds minority stake (31%). 
Power generation assets of EPH are owned and operated through EP Power Europe who operates balanced power generation fleet across Europe, including large fleet of gas fired power plants (Italy and the UK), nuclear power plants (Slovakia), hydro power plants (Slovakia), lignite power plants (Germany) and hard coal power plants (Germany and Sardinia). Following massive investments implemented in last two years EP Power Europe is one of the two leading European operators of biomass power plants with assets located in the UK and Italy, including a large scale biomass power plant implemented through conversation from original coal capacity (Lynemouth, UK).