Germany's RWE expands in Hungary
German utility RWE is acquiring the business and industrial gas supply portfolio of Tigaz from Italy’s Eni. No transaction value was given
RWE subsidiary Elmu-Emasz re-entered the Hungarian gas market as recently as July 2015; it expects to start supplying the new Tigaz customers from April 1 subject to regulatory approval at which point its share of the Hungarian non-household gas market could reach 10%.
“Eastern Europe is a key growth market for RWE,” said RWE CEO Peter Terium. RWE's Hungary head, Marie-Theres Thiell, added: “With around 2,600 further business and industrial customers and around 4,000 points of consumption for gas throughout Hungary, this takes us a big step closer to achieving our goal of a 10-15% market share in this segment in the next few years.”
RWE’s expansion in Hungary parallels the near-complete exit from gas marketing of its main German rival E.ON. In 2013 E.ON sold its gas supply, trading and storage business – which accounted for some 75% of all gas sold to final customers in Hungary – to state-owned power utility MVM for €870mn, following moves by the government to freeze retail gas prices. Both German firms still supply electricity to homes and industry.
The transfer of E.ON’s last household gas customers in Hungary was finalised this year. In a statement last month, E.ON quoted Zsuzsanna Nemeth, secretary of state in the prime minister’s office, saying: “The takeover of the universal natural gas market customers was a historic step in the domestic utility services. By this fall, the state will be supplying natural gas to the entire Hungarian population. The government’s goal is to ensure that natural gas is sold to Hungarian families at a better price and at a higher quality than in the European Union.”