AVAG and sbo form a.en

AVAG and sbo are establishing a joint company named Aare Energie AG (a.en), effective 1 January 2002. The company is a platform for a strong new provider of energy services, electricity, gas and water. The partners have signed a corresponding letter of intent at the conclusion of three months intensive and detailed negotiations. All AVAG and sbo personnel will retain their jobs.

With open energy markets in the offing, the Olten area will be home to a.en, a strong new provider of energy services, electricity, gas and water with combined sales of approx. CHF 105 million and around 80 employees. Given the high degree of geographical overlap in the areas serviced by AVAG and sbo, a.en will initially be a management and operational company with a primary mission to realise administrative, commercial and engineering synergies.

Cooperation model AVAG is a subsidiary of Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity and supplies electricity directly to 13 communities in the Olten area. The companys regional and superregional grids play a major part in supplying electricity to the southern Jura foothills and as far north as the canton of Basel Land. sbo is an independent company, publicly owned by the community of Olten, that supplies the town of Olten with electricity, gas and water. sbo also operates its own regional natural gas distribution network that presently supplies a string of 20 communities from Niederbipp in the canton of Bern, to Schönenwerd.

As a subsidiary of AVAG and sbo, a.en will first and foremost coordinate and implement both partners regional market presence in terms of customer acquisition and care. Internal synergies will also be exploited through close cooperation with planning, maintenance and operations. AVAG and sbo will nonetheless be retaining their respective network and property ownership, and customer bases.

a.ens six-member administrative board comprises the existing administrative board presidents of AVAG and sbo, Dr. Stefan Breu and Jost Bitterli, each flanked by two members representing the respective partners. Jost Bitterli is scheduled to become administrative board president of a.en. To ensure effective and efficient processes involving a.en, AVAG and sbo, the executive management team will be comprised of the parent companies current operational managers Heiner Schranz and Norbert Caspar, with the latter assuming the role of chairman. From letter of intent to a.en In addition to numerous administrative, proprietorial, financial and taxation issues, personnel aspects will be a particular focus during the startup phase. It is clear that a.en will use existing AVAG and sbo staff; there will be no redundancies.

While operational sites are remaining at their present locations for the time being AVAG in Dulliken, sbo in Olten administrative staff will be moving into common premises as soon as possible. sbo will need to relocate from its town hall offices, since space constraints there and at Atel headquarters present a physical obstacle to merged operations. Potential office locations are currently under evaluation.

Atel Versorgungs AG sbo Städtische Betriebe Olten