Star Capital Partners


News Index

2 September 2004   

STAR Capital Partners acquires German energy business

STAR Capital Partners (“STAR”), a European specialist investment fund focused on the acquisition and development of capital intensive assets announces the acquisition of a shareholding in GWE Gesellschaft für wirtschaftliche Energieversorgung mbH (“GWE” or “the Company”), from 3i Deutschland Gesellschaft für Industriebeteiligungen mbH (“3i”). Following completion of the transaction, STAR will own 72% of the shares of the new GWE Holding GmbH. The incumbent management and other existing “non-3i” shareholders are rolling over their interests into the new ownership structure and will own the remaining shares.

GWE is an independent energy services provider operating in the German distributed energy sector. It specialises in the provision of heat, cooling and power (“CHP”) to a broad range of customers, including industrials and hospitals. GWE has created a competitive advantage by integrating the core competencies of project development, operations and energy portfolio management, something that few of its competitors are able to offer.

There is a significant political and social trend towards more energy efficiency throughout Europe and the promotion of CHP energy is of high priority. The acquisition of GWE provides STAR with an opportunity to acquire a platform in what is expected to be a growing market for energy outsourcing in Germany.

Karl-Heinz Stupperich has been appointed as Chairman. Mr Stupperich has a vast amount of experience in running industrial plants and engineering businesses, having spent eight years as the CEO of Alstom Germany. Karl-Ekkehard Sester, the original founder of GWE and developer of energy portfolio management, will be the CEO. Mr Sester has 20 years experience in public power and gas utilities, CHP-plant construction and operation and engineering.

Karl-Ekkehard Sester, founder and CEO of GWE commented:
“Our customers believe that GWE offers an innovative and cost efficient solution to their heat and power requirements. We remove both the capital cost and operational burden and provide a guaranteed source of energy at a price far more attractive than the alternatives. We are delighted that our new ownership provides us with the financial strength to continue to expand our operations.”

Karl-Heinz Stupperich, Chairman of GWE commented:
“GWE has built up an excellent reputation for providing a high-quality service and operation to its customers. The company is ideally positioned to take advantage of the increasing need for distributed energy generation in Germany. STAR’s experience in and knowledge of the European energy markets will add considerable value in growing the business”

Paul Gough, a Director of STAR, commented:
“STAR’s acquisition of GWE reflects our strategy to provide outsourced financing solutions for a company’s non-core and capital-intensive activities. The market for decentralised, small-scale CHP plants is expected to grow considerably over the next twenty years and provide strong competition for the major German utilities. Given Germany’s decision to withdraw from nuclear power generation and the closure of aging coal-fired power stations, the prospects for CHP generation in Germany are very appealing.”

Willi Rugen, Senior Advisor to STAR in Germany, commented:
"GWE marks STAR’s first investment in Germany, a market that we believe has considerable potential for STAR going forward. Although, we want to further expand STAR’s market position in the energy sector, our investment horizon in Germany is much broader. We are also targeting investment opportunities in the waste management, transportation and healthcare sectors, among others."

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