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Berlin to Purchase RWE Water Company Stake for 618 Million Euros

Berlin’s city government voted today to acquire RWE AG (RWE)’s stake in BWB Wasserbetriebe for 618 million euros ($755 million) to raise its holding in Germany’s largest water company to 75.05 percent.

The transaction for the second-biggest German utility’s 24.95 percent stake in BWB is effective retroactive to Jan. 1, subject to approval of parliament, the city-state said in a statement. Berlin’s finance ministry said its agreements with Veolia Environnement SA (VIE), the world’s largest water utility that owns the balance of BWB, remain unchanged.

In 1999, France’s Veolia and RWE acquired 49.9 percent of the Berlin water utility. City officials have sought to regain control of the 150-year-old water supplier to curb high costs for Berlin consumers. Veolia has been trying to cut the Paris- based waste and water utility’s debt, selling a U.K. unit to a Morgan Stanley-backed venture last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Hackley in Zurich at rhackley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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