20. July 2011 | MVV

Walldorf to build on strategic partnership with MVV Energie AG

Mannheim-based energy company acquires 25.1 percent stake in Stadtwerke Walldorf GmbH - Regional partnership should equip Walldorf for its energy future

By forging a strategic partnership with the Mannheim-based energy company MVV Energie, the municipal utility company Stadtwerke Walldorf aims to position itself sustainably to face the future challenges presented by the energy market. To this end, MVV Energie is set to acquire a 25.1 percent stake in the municipal utility company of Walldorf, a town with just over 14,000 inhabitants in the Rhine-Neckar district of Northern Baden. This was announced by Walldorf and MVV Energie in a joint press conference on Wednesday (20 July 2011) after the majority approval of a corresponding resolution by the town council on the previous evening.

"As well as fulfilling its actual technical supply obligations, our new municipal utility company, which with just under 50 employees and annual sales of around Euro 18 million is comparatively small, also has to comply with large numbers of competitive, regulatory and economic requirements", stressed Christiane Staab, Mayor of Walldorf and Supervisory Board Chairman of Stadtwerke Walldorf GmbH. "Not only that, the transformation of the market and the energy turnaround now underway open up a variety of new chances, opportunities that Stadtwerk Walldorf aims to consistently seize with an experienced, nationally active and strong partner at its side."

"As an energy player in majority municipal ownership, we are committed to maintaining and reinforcing municipal and decentralised supply structures in Germany as a whole and in our own region in particular", explained Matthias Brückmann, member of the Executive Board of Germany's only publicly listed municipal utility company with regard to MVV Energie's investment in Walldorf, a medium-sized town located between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, and also home to the head office of software giant SAP. "Our partnership-based cooperation model means that Stadtwerke Walldorf will continue to act as an autonomous company, one that we as regional partner will support in meeting its objectives." These include securing a competitive, reliable energy supply for Walldorf, expanding ecological and renewable energy generation and maintaining the company's profitability.

To this end, MVV Energie provides Stadtwerke Walldorf with a Managing Director experienced in the industry. He is integrated into a network of competent managers and can draw on extensive services from within the MVV Energie Group in terms of corporate development, sales strategies, energy procurement, grid operations, materials procurement, renewable energies and heating energy generation and regulatory management. Not only that, MVV Energie will also be represented on Stadtwerke Walldorf's Supervisory Board.

"The business management of the Stadtwerke will remain in Walldorf", underlined Christiane Staab. "This partnership will nevertheless also enable us to cover fields that small municipal utility companies would otherwise not be able to cover." The Supervisory Board of Stadtwerke Walldorf launched the hunt for a strategic partner in 2007 already. Since 2008, MVV Energie has provided the company's Managing Director. According to the mayor, Walldorf is not dependent on the proceeds from the sale. "This step has been motivated solely by the support MVV Energie can provide in promoting the further sustainable development of Stadtwerke Walldorf. We have deliberately opted - initially for a limited period - in favour of MVV Energie as partner acting within the region and in the interests of the region, rather than for a large international group." According to the Mayor, the workforce had been involved at an early stage in the consideration given to forging closer links with MVV Energie and was in favour of this move.

MVV Energie Executive Board member Brückmann is also confident that the investment will lead to a successful partnership for all involved. "Stadtwerke Walldorf offers the level of customer proximity in its town necessary to enable new services to be marketed as well." In particular, the processes of decentralising the energy supply and making it more ecological, as well as of developing smart grids, involved offering new products and technical solutions to customers. "Those are the strengths we would like to contribute to the municipal partnership and cooperation with Walldorf", added Matthias Brückmann. The Federal Cartel Authority must still approve the investment.