4 July 2003 - E.ON has agreed a shareholding swap with the Czech energy supplier, CEZ. E.ON will acquire the CEZ shares in the South Czech regional utilities JME and JCE giving in return its minority stakes in the regional utilities ZCE and VCE. The transaction is subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities.
The share swap brings E.ON's stake from currently 45 per cent well up to an 80 per cent majority in JME. The JCE shareholding increases from just 14 per cent to 48 per cent. Both companies are direct neighbours supplying 1.4 million customers annually with nearly 12 billion kWh of electricity. Together they have about 24 percent of the Czech electricity market.
In a further step E.ON will tender the remaining shareholders of both companies a public take-over bid with the aim of obtaining a majority of JCE.
Along with the share swap, an option agreement was concluded allowing E.ON to give its minority interests in regional utilities SME (30.3 per cent) and SCE (5.9 per cent) to CEZ.
CEO and Chairman of the E.ON Board of Management, Wulf H. Bernotat said, "The agreement with CEZ is a decisive step toward a leading position in the growth market, Czech Republic. Together with our stakes in the electric utilities in Slovakia and Hungary, we will have one interlocking supply area in Central Europe at our disposal. That gives us the opportunity.