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Vattenfall sells German lignite assets to Czech EPH

Staff writer ▼ | April 19, 2016
Czech investor EPH will buy the loss-making lignite coal mines and associated power plants in Germany from state-owned Swedish utility Vattenfall.
Acquisition   EPH teamed up with PPF Investments
EPH, which teamed up with Czech private equity group PPF Investments, expects power prices to rise in Germany at the start of the next decade due to a phase-out of nuclear power production. It already owns lignite assets in Germany.

The sale, which still needs to be approved by the Swedish government, would reduce Vattenfall's electricity output by about 30 percent, but also cut its carbon emissions by about 70 percent, making it one of the greenest utilities in Europe, the Swedish company said.

German power prices have fallen by around 40 percent since Vattenfall launched the sale in 2014, while Berlin has taken measures to reduce output from polluting lignite plants to reach its national climate targets.

The Swedish company said the sale had been driven both by its strategy to reduce exposure to CO2 emissions and by the risk of power prices staying low.

"It's strategically and financially right," Vattenfall's chief executive officer Magnus Hall told a news conference.