RWE Completes Sale of 24.95% Holding in Berlin’s Water Utility

RWE AG (RWE), Germany’s second-biggest utility, completed the sale of its 24.95 percent holding in Berlinwasser to the state of Berlin to finalize its withdrawal from Berlin’s water business.

The sale after two years of negotiations is valued at 658 million euros ($856 million), Essen-based RWE said in a statement. The Berlin state parliament, cartel authorities and RWE’s supervisory board approved the divestment.

“The sale of our shareholding in Berlinwasser is an important step in the implementation of RWE’s measures to reinforce our capital base and to create further financial headroom for RWE,” board member Leonhard Birnbaum said.

The French water utility Veolia Environnement SA (VIE) in August lost an appeal to block RWE from selling its share of the companies’ joint stake in Berlinwasser, which they acquired in 1999. Veolia still holds 24.95 percent of the 150-year-old water supplier. With the RWE sale, the state of Berlin now holds the remainder of Germany’s largest water company.

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