69 shareholders attended the 10th Annual General Meeting of Alpiq Holding Ltd. held in Lausanne on 16 May 2018. They represented 94.38 percent of voting rights. Shareholders approved the 2017 consolidated financial statements of the Alpiq Group as well as the annual report and the 2017 financial statements of Alpiq Holding Ltd. The General Meeting discharged the members of the Board of Directors and approved the motion by the Board of Directors not to pay a dividend in light of the continued negative performance of Swiss generation and the prevailing market asymmetry, which strongly distorts competition. Board members Urs Steiner, Patrick Pruvot and Tilmann Steinhagen did not stand for re-election at the Annual General Meeting. Appointed as new Board members were Tobias Andrist as a representative of EBL, and Birgit Fratzke-Weiss and Patrice Gérardin as representatives of EDF. All the other existing members of the Board of Directors and the Chairman were re-elected.
European business supports Swiss production
In the 2017 financial year, the international energy business generated more than 60 percent of earnings and thus acted as a support for the unprofitable Swiss production. In particular international energy trading, the customer business, electricity generation from the flexible power plants in Europe and the new renewable energies made substantial positive contributions towards earnings. Furthermore, consistent cost management counteracted the decline in earnings.
Sale of the industrial business as a logical strategic step
In his address, Chairman of the Board Jens Alder assessed the agreement on the sale of the industrial business as a logical strategic step in Alpiq’s corporate history. Due to the challenging situation of Swiss production on the free market means that Alpiq currently does not have the funds to enhance the Engineering Services business and thus to strengthen its number one position in various markets. Alpiq is therefore no longer the right owner for the Engineering Services business with its operations in the industrial market. Alder said: “With this transaction, Alpiq is generating an added value for the Group and thus strengthening its core business.”
Alpiq is fit for the future
The proceeds from the transaction will result in the elimination of net debt and strengthen the core business. Alpiq is focusing on its core business of generating electricity in Switzerland and on its international business activities comprising the flexible, diversified power plant portfolio, the new renewable energies and the strong market presence in energy trading. In addition, in order to increase efficiency, Alpiq will continue to digitalise its core business and consistently expand its customer portfolio with smart solutions – also outside of Switzerland.
Recovery on the horizon in the medium to long term
Against the backdrop of the current market environment and energy policy developments, Jens Alder showed cautious optimism for the future. He said: “Alpiq’s prospects have improved significantly.” He added that in the medium to long term, Alpiq expects electricity and CO2 wholesale prices to recover slightly, which will reduce the corresponding pressure on the results of Alpiq’s power generation in Switzerland.
Alpiq demands fair competition
Alder clearly addressed the serious shortcomings of the Swiss electricity market regulation. He said: “Alpiq demands fair competition and a responsible policy in the interests of Switzerland's electricity supply security. This entails non-discriminatory access to end customers in Switzerland and to European markets, equal legal treatment of all Swiss electricity producers and a burden of taxes and levies in line with economic viability.”
Board of Directors adopts modification of Alpiq’s Executive Board
Following the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors adopted a modification of the executive management functions in the Industrial Engineering business division. Within the framework of the sales process, Reinhold Frank, currently Head of the Industrial Engineering business division and a member of the Alpiq Executive Board, will from 1 June 2018 concentrate fully on the challenges of the Kraftanlagen Group in the role of Head of the business unit Industrial Plants & Services. This will enable the carve-out of the announced transaction of the Kraftanlagen Group to Bouygues Construction to be prepared.
Alpiq would like to extend its sincere thanks to Reinhold Frank for his many years of service and great commitment as Division Head and member of the Alpiq Executive Board, as well as for his willingness to prepare and implement the closing of the transaction of the Kraftanlagen Group.
The other two business units of the Industrial Engineering business division, Thermal Power Generation and Renewable Energy Sources, are part of the core business and will remain with Alpiq. Jasmin Staiblin, CEO, will simultaneously take over the management of the Industrial Engineering business division.
The Building Technology & Design (InTec) business division will remain under the leadership of Peter Limacher, since the entire division will be transferred to Bouygues Construction during the sales process.
As announced on 26 March 2018, Alpiq will split off its industrial business and has in this context signed an agreement with Bouygues Construction to sell the engineering services business consisting of InTec and the Kraftanlagen Group for CHF 850 million. Closing is planned for the second half of 2018. The sale is subject to customary closing conditions including approval by the antitrust authorities in the EU and Switzerland.
Find more information on Alpiq and the Annual General Meeting under www.alpiq.com