RWE Prepares to Enter Italian Power Market

July 29 2002 – German utility RWE, facing stiff competition in its home market, is poised to take advantage of accelerating liberalisation in Italy to make

“In Italy, there will be a wave of privatisation over the next two or three years,” Financial Times Deutschland quoted Heinz-Werner Ufer, head of the utility’s distribution arm RWE Plus as saying. “The privatization process has just begun.”

Large city utilities such as those in Rome, Milan and Verona were opposed to the Essen-based utility’s Italian ambitions, the paper said.

E.ON’s acquisition of leading gas importer Ruhrgas would give RWE’s larger domestic rival a dominant position in the fast-growing German gas market, forcing RWE to make foreign acquisitions to compete.

A court will decide in the coming days whether to uphold an injunction on the E.ON-Ruhrgas deal which it issued after a legal challenge by two energy companies and two city utilities.

Ufer also said RWE planned to continue its expansion in Poland, Austria and Slovakia, having already taken stakes in regional power distributors in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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