Atel acquires the German GAH Group

Aare-Tessin Electricity Company Ltd (Atel) in Olten is taking over the Heidelberg-based GAH Group from Deutsche Beteiligungs AG, a move aimed at expanding Atel's energy service business in Europe in tandem with its strategy for electricity trading.

The GAH Group is one of Germany's large suppliers in terms of building control and building management in addition to energy supply technology, industrial/plant engineering and communications technology. In the 1999 financial year, GAH's consolidated turnover rose by around 9% to more than DM 1,300 million. Based in Heidelberg, GAH Group has a nationwide network of subsidiaries and branches and employs around 5,000 staff. Atel and GAH have historical common links, in that GAH was founded at the beginning of the last century by Kummler+Matter, Zurich which is one of Atel's current subsidiaries. The transfer of the GAH Group from Deutsche Beteiligungs AG to Atel is effective retrospectively to 1 January 2000. The parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential. The then quoted GAH was acquired by Deutsche Beteiligungs AG in July 1998 and after reverting to private ownership, the company was further developed into a modern services group.

Atel is an electricity dealer throughout Europe, particularly in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. In addition to electricity trading, Atel is aiming to develop the energy service business as its second pillar through this acquisition, and is also seeking to expand its operations in this area in Europe. In terms of energy service, Atel Installationstechnik AG has to date generated a turnover of around CHF 300 million through a staff of approximately 2,000. The GAH Group and Atel Installationstechnik AG complement each other perfectly, in that they both have specific know-how in related areas.

Atel is creating two new divisions in order to integrate the GAH Group into the Atel organisation. The 'Energy Service Germany' division will now be headed by Johannes-Jürgen Albus, the overall head of the GAH Group who will be joining Atel's Executive Board.  The 'Energy Service Switzerland' division will be headed by Giovanni Leonardi who is in overall charge of Atel Installationstechnik AG in Zurich and who will also be joining Atel's Executive Board. Giovanni Leonardi will additionally be responsible for building control and building management on GAH's management board.

Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity Corporate Communications