A team led by Dr. Oliver von Rosenberg, Partner at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek in Cologne, advised GEW Köln AG, majority shareholder of RheinEnergie AG, on the expansion of the strategic partnership between RheinEnergie AG and e.on-company Westenergie AG, formerly innogy SE. The basic principles of the cooperation had already been agreed in November of last year. The cooperation aims at further boosting the dynamic Rhineland region, with both partners contributing their respective strengths: Westenergie AG as a powerful infrastructure partner for medium-sized and smaller municipal utilities, and RheinEnergie AG with its regional focus and business models for urban centers.
By expanding the strategic partnership, the partners will contribute various municipal utility holdings to rhenag Rheinische Energie Aktiengesellschaft, which has decades of experience in municipal utility partnerships and as a nationwide service provider for small and medium-sized energy utilities. In the future, it will increasingly focus on digital market products and services in the growing Rhineland region, with e-mobility and the expansion of renewable energies to be integrated across sectors. As part of the transaction, RheinEnergie AG will increase its current stake in rhenag Rheinische Energie Aktiengesellschaft and will hold the majority of shares in the future (at least 50.1 percent). Westenergie AG will continue to hold a sizeable stake. In addition, RheinEnergie AG will also take over the 20 percent stake in Stadtwerke Duisburg AG currently held by Westenergie AG in the course of the realigned Rhineland cooperation. In return, Westenergie AG’s stake in RheinEnergie AG will be increased from currently 20 percent to up to 24.9 percent.
The partnership is subject to (among others) the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office and of the District Government of Cologne. Its operational start is expected for Q1/2022.
Westenergie AG emerged from innogy SE on October 1, 2020 and took over its stake in RheinEnergie AG (currently 20 percent). Since its foundation in 2002, RheinEnergie AG has developed into one of Germany’s major regional utilities, majority-led by municipalities. As the main energy and water service provider for Cologne and the Rhineland region, RheinEnergie AG is one of the key economic factors in Cologne and the surrounding area. RheinEnergie AG is responsible for supplying some 2.5 million people as well as industry, trade, and commerce with energy and drinking water.
Counsel to GEW Köln AG
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:
Dr. Oliver von Rosenberg, LL.M. (Corporate / M&A), Cologne,
Dr. Alexander Jüngst (Corporate / M&A), Cologne,
Dr. Katharina Prasuhn (Corporate / M&A), Munich,
Dr. Kerstin Goeck (Corporate / M&A), Cologne,
Greta Maria Gottschalk (Corporate / M&A), Cologne,
Dr. Frederik Wiemer (Antitrust), Hamburg,
Michael Vetter (Antitrust), Düsseldorf,
Fabian G. Gaffron (Tax), Hamburg,
Dr. Ute Jasper,
Dr. Laurence Westen,
Sarah Rose (all Public Procurement), all Düsseldorf,
Dr. Tobias Woltering (Energy), Düsseldorf
Michèle von Lewinski (both Due Diligence, Finance), both Frankfurt,
Prof. Dr. Martin Reufels, LL.M.,
Kerstin Deiters, (both Employment), both Cologne,
Judy-Anne Krug, LL.M. (Commercial), Hamburg.
Thomas Mertens, Head of Legal, RheinEnergie
Notary Dr. Stefan Heinze, Cologne