A2A signs an agreement with Cofathec / gas de France for the acquisition of Cofathec Coriance Sas
Milan, May 29, 2008 - A2A has signed with Cofathec Sas, a subsidiary of Gaz de France Group, the agreement for the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Cofathec Coriance Sas, a company operating in France in the district heating, cooling and co-generation sectors.
Cofathec Coriance, directly and through subsidiaries, manages district heating and cooling plants through long-term concessions.
The facilities managed by Coriance and included in the transaction are 20, with an installed capacity of about 670 MWt, and also include some minority shareholding in other plants. The plants use different technologies: cogeneration, biomass, geothermal, boilers, industrial gases and incineration of waste. The installed electrical power of the cogeneration plants is over 80 MWe. In 2007 Coriance produced about 670 GWht and 250 GWhe. The 50% stake held by Coriance in Climespace, which carries out district cooling in Paris, is not included in the transaction.
The plants are mainly located around Paris and in some major French cities (like Toulouse and Dijon) and are managed on the basis of specific concessions granted by local municipalities, with a remaining average duration of about 13 years.
Pro-forma 2007 turnover for the activities involved in the transaction was around 63 million euros, with a pro-forma EBITDA of around 8.6 million euros. This data only partially includes the results from some plants started-up in 2007. Other plants are due to start operations in the current year. In 2008, thanks to the contribution from the new plants, the overall heat production is expected to reach about 800 GWht.
The price to be paid for the acquisition is 44.6 million euros; at the end of 2007 the consolidated net financial indebtedness of Coriance was approximately 34 million euros; for contractual purposes the net financial position has been incremented by approximately 8 million euros to account for some provisions and other non-financial liabilities.
The sale of Cofathec Coriance falls within the scope of the provisions set by the European Commission to authorize the merger between Gaz de France and Suez (which holds in France, through Elyo, a significant proportion of the district heating sector). The closing of the transaction, subject to the necessary authorizations from the French government and antitrust authority, is expected during the third quarter of the year.
Through this acquisition, A2A enters the district heating market in France, which shows interesting opportunities for growth, particularly for plants fed by renewable sources, leveraging not only Coriance’s specific characteristics but also the considerable experience the A2A group has acquired in this sector. Furthermore, Coriance could represent an important starting point for the further development of A2A on the French market, not only in relation to the production of electricity, but also in other areas where the group is active.