January 22, 2020 / 5:55 AM / a month ago

Germany's EWE gets funding boost from new shareholder Ardian

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - German regional utility EWE has access to half a billion euros ($555 million) in funds for growth from French private equity firm Ardian, its new anchor shareholder, the group’s chief executive said.

“Apart from the investment to acquire the 26% stake Ardian is making available up to 500 million euros for growth projects. Our financial firepower is very strong,” Stefan Dohler said.

Ardian, through its infrastructure arm, last month agreed to buy a 26% stake in EWE, marking the end of an M&A process that was started when former anchor shareholder, German utility EnBW , decided to pull out four years ago.

Dohler said that Ardian was fully supporting the group’s strategy, which targets investments in renewables, digitalisation, fibre optic network expansion, mobility and energy services.

$1 = 0.9016 euros Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Vera Eckert and Christoph Steitz; editing by Thomas Seythal

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