Motor-Columbus / Atel: Federal Court rejects complaint by AEM

The Swiss Federal Court has not upheld the complaint made by AEM S.p.A against the procedures associated with the takeover offer to the shareholders of Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity (Atel) by the parent company Motor-Columbus Ltd. Hence the next transaction steps can now be initiated with the objective of merging Atel and EOS to create the leading Swiss energy group operating throughout Europe.

According to the judgment made on 27 February 2007, which was announced yesterday, the Swiss Federal Court has not upheld the complaint made by AEM S.p.A. against a decision by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) dated 4 July 2006. The complaint by AEM, a minority shareholder of Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity (Atel), concerned individual points of the exchange offer dated 28 March 2006 made to the public shareholders by the Atel majority shareholder Motor-Columbus Ltd. This exchange offer was already implemented on 27 July 2006.

With this judgement, the decisions by the Swiss Takeover Board and the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC), which confirmed the conformity of the exchange offer with the law, become absolute.

The Swiss Federal Court has determined that AEM is not accorded the status of a party in this process. Hence it is not authorized to take the recommendations of the Takeover Board to the next level of authority, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC). Thus according to the Swiss Federal Court no reason existed for the SFBC to consider the intervention by AEM. The Swiss Federal Court has thus entirely agreed with the argument put forward by Motor-Columbus.

The exchange offer mentioned is part of a comprehensive, overall transaction. Following the restructuring of Atel and Motor-Columbus, it foresees the merging of Atel and the operational activities and assets of EOS, Lausanne, under a newly created holding structure. Furthermore, Electricité de France (EDF) is also considering incorporating its Swiss activities into the new company. The objective is the creation of a leading Swiss electricity company that is active throughout Europe. Following the decision by the Swiss Federal Court, the merger process can now be pushed ahead.

Motor-Columbus Ltd                                                Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity