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Swissgrid stake: Alpiq divests shareholding for CHF 146 million

Lausanne – Alpiq has successfully sold its shareholding in Swissgrid AG: SIRESO (Société d'Investissement de Suisse occidentale SA) will take over for CHF 146 million the majority shareholding of 50.1% in Alpiq Grid Beteiligungs AG, to which Alpiq transferred its Swissgrid shares. Upon closing of the transaction, expected in the 4th quarter of this year, Alpiq will have divested its entire shareholding in Swissgrid.

Following the successfully completed sale of the 49.9%-stake in the subsidiary Alpiq Grid Beteiligungs AG to IST3 on 18 March 2015, Alpiq has achieved an important milestone in the divestment process of the Swissgrid stake. SIRESO will purchase the remaining 50.1%-stake in Alpiq Grid Beteiligungs AG for CHF 146 million. SIRESO is a consortium under the management of the Western Swiss cantons, and comprises institutional investors as well as energy utilities from Western Switzerland. Completion of the transaction is subject to pre-emption rights and is expected to occur in the 4th quarter of this year.

At the end of May 2014, the Board of Directors of Alpiq Holding AG decided to sell the entire package of its non-strategic interest in Swissgrid AG. This includes the Swissgrid shares and the shareholder loans received against the transfer of the high-voltage grids in early 2013. Alpiq sold a first loan tranche of CHF 75 million at the end of 2014. In addition, the Swissgrid shares were transferred to the independent subsidiary Alpiq Grid Beteiligungs AG. A 49.9%-interest in this subsidiary has already been sold to IST3 together with an additional 49.9% of the loan. The remaining 50.1%-stake has now been sold to SIRESO. Subject to completion of this transaction, Alpiq will have generated a total of CHF 509 million so far from the divestment process. Alpiq intends to divest the remaining loan tranche with a nominal value of CHF 48 million still this year. Alpiq will use the proceeds primarily to reduce net debt in order to make targeted investments in the future.