What's new about the project of the Italian A2A and the French Ardian for a new energy company. Here are details and discontent
Tensions on the Italian-French axis in energy.
The Italian multi-utility A2A is carrying out the joint venture project with the French investment company Ardian.
THE JUNE AGREEMENT
Last June the two companies signed a non-binding agreement in which the general terms of a partnership on a new company, controlled by A2A, active in the electricity production and distribution market, were outlined.
In the press release A2A spoke of a "clear focus on green energy and the energy transition", referring to the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) and the Paris agreements, and recalling the close agreement with Ardian in 2020 on hydrogen from renewable sources (the so-called "green" hydrogen).
Ardian will invest up to 1.5 billion euros in this new company, to which A2A will transfer certain assets: wind, hydroelectric and solar power plants; facilities for hydrogen production and storage; energy supply activities. It will have an enterprise value of approximately € 4.1 billion.
A2A will hold 55 percent of the shares in the new company; Ardian the remaining 45 percent.
According to the reconstruction of the Radiocor agency, A2A and Ardian are continuing to work on the establishment of the new company and aim to reach a definitive agreement by the end of the year. In these days, the analysis on the assets that will flow into the new entity and the search (entrusted to the consultancy firm Korn Ferry) for a managing director are being carried out.
THE CRITICAL LEAGUE
The exponents of the Lega Simona Bordonali (deputy), Fausto Di Mezza and Fabio Rolfi (Councilor for Agriculture, Food and Green Systems of the Lombardy Region) protested against the mayor of Brescia Emilio Del Bono, of the Democratic Party, for "the operation of enormous financial proportions ”involving A2A and Ardian,“ without the city having been adequately informed and without the slightest public debate ”. The three criticize that A2A, with its “100 years of industrial history”, is being transformed into a “large financial company with a strong French influence”.
THE CROSETTO PUFF
“Are we also selling A2A to the French? When we have given them the banks, finance, savings management, insurance, water, utilities will they stop? ”. Guido Crosetto, former Undersecretary of Defense (2008-2011) and co-founder of the Brothers of Italy, wrote it on Twitter.
Are we also selling A2A to the French?
When we have given them the banks, finance, asset management, insurance, water, utilities will they stop?
– Guido Crosetto (@GuidoCrosetto) September 14, 2021
THE COMMENT OF GIORGIO GOGGI
Giorgio Goggi, candidate for mayor in Milan for the socialists and former councilor in the center-right council of Gabriele Albertini, thinks that the decision of the Lombard TAR on A2A-AEB can also be applied to the agreement between A2A and Ardian. As reported by Radio Lombarda , Goggi is convinced that the partnership with Ardian constitutes a "gift to the French of all strategic assets such as power plants and dams". According to Goggi, the A2A-Ardian operation “was not only wrong but pejorative because it was conceived without public evidence. And what has been done in recent years by A2A has not only been rejected by the TAR, but also by the Council of State. The citizens of Milan cannot and must not lose the large plants built with payments made by millions of consumers, the Brescians since 1908 and the Milanese since 1910, giving them to a multinational company, which will be able to dispose of them at will. We expect new sentences against A2A's decisions for the good of Milan and its citizens ”.
WHAT ARDIAN DOES IN ITALY
Ardian has invested over 3 billion euros in Italian infrastructure. In particular, it is a shareholder of the F2i fund (Italian Funds for Infrastructures), one of the main players in the Italian renewable energy market.
THE BLOCK TO THE ACQUISITION OF AEB
At the beginning of September, the Council of State declared void the merger operation between A2A and AEB – a utility operating in Brianza -, which had already been blocked in June 2020 by the Lombardy Regional Administrative Court. The aggregation, writes Il Sole 24 Ore , would have led to A2A "about 200 thousand customers and 30-40 million euros of EBITDA"; for the Council of State, however, this operation will have to take place through a public tender.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/energia/a2a-ardian/ on Tue, 14 Sep 2021 12:57:13 +0000.