RWE is putting into place its final management selections ahead of the partial spin-off of its renewable energy business.

Handelsblatt has learned that Markus Krebber, the current head of RWE‘s energy trading business, will take over as chief financial officer of the entire group.
He will replace Bernhard Günther, who as chief finance officer will join RWE chief executive Peter Terium at Newco, the renewables company to be partially spun off from the parent company later this year.

Newco is the working title for the new renewables section, and Terium and Günther will manage around four fifths of RWE’s current revenues comprising two thirds of the total working force.

The current RWE deputy-chief executive, Rolf Martin Schmitz, will head up the traditional, conventional power business and face a stiff task in arresting decline as well as turning around the company’s nuclear business. Former SAP finance board member, Werner Brandt, will be supervisory board chairman of both companies. 

The Newco IPO is intended to free up investment in new areas of growth, at a time when RWE is haemorrhaging profits from conventional electricity generation. Just two weeks ago, it wrote off €2.1bn ($2.3bn), on power stations and reported net losses of €200m – a reason for the board to propose the cancellation of dividend payments to common stockholders.

That creates serious problems for numerous cities and districts in the west German Rhein and Ruhr region, which still own nearly a quarter of the stock. So the four representatives of the municipal supervisory boards will protest against the non-payment of dividends at a meeting on Thursday. But as the employees’ representatives on the board support the initiative, the communes will be unable to prevent it.

According to Handelsblatt, Mr. Terium will justify the cancellation of dividend payments to the supervisors with the current dramatic situation of electricity generation. Right now, on the futures market a megawatt hour costs hardly more than €20 and that applies to 2017, 2018 and 2019. At these prices, hardly any power station can be operated at a profit.

Three years ago, wholesale electricity prices peaked at more than €50 per megawatt hour.

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