Berlin Senate gives approval for joint ownership of Bewag

Mirant Corporation, the Atlanta-based power group, announced on Friday that it had received authorization from the City of Berlin Senate for its proposal to share control of Berlin utility Bewag with Hamburg utility HEW. A condition of the approval is that Mirant and HEW have joint control and equal stakes and it is intended that each company will hold 43 per cent of the shares in Bewag. The remaining 14 per cent of shares will be publicly traded on the German Stock Exchange.

HEW, which is owned by Swedish utility Vattenfall, will acquire its interest in Bewag from German industrial group E.ON. HEW had planned to take a controlling interest until authorities in Berlin and Mirant Corporation raised objections. The announcement of Berlin’s agreement allows E.ON to dispose of its interests to HEW which in turn has agreed to sell 17 per cent of its stake to Mirant. Mirant currently has a 26 per cent interest in Bewag.

“This agreement in Bewag together with HEW and Vattenfall marks a positive step as we continue to expand our asset base in Germany and throughout Europe,” said Barney Rush, chief executive officer of Mirant’s European business group. “We see this agreement as a first step in creating a “Fourth Force” in the German electricity market in which Mirant, through Bewag, will play an integral role.”

The “Fourth Force” is a combination of utilities set to be a leading force in the German energy market by providing efficient, low-cost energy.

Mirant has extensive operations in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company, which was created through an IPO by Southern Energy, owns or controls more than 20,000 mw of electric generating capacity around the world, with another 9,000 mw under development.

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