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Amprion Owners Commit to $472 mln Equity Boost in 2020

FRANKFURT, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Amprion, Germany’s no.2 high-voltage power transmission network operator, said on Tuesday it has secured 400 million euros ($472 million) of funding commitments from its owners for 2020.

“Amprion can rely on a solid ownership structure that supports our investments,” Amprion said in e-mailed comments to Reuters. “This is also reflected in the commitment of our owners to raise equity by 400 million euros this year.”

Amprion is 25.1%-owned by Germany’s largest power producer RWE, with the rest held by M31, a vehicle of insurers and funds including Munich Re, Talanx and Swiss Life that is managed by a unit of Commerzbank .

Amprion’s financing needs have nearly tripled to 15.2 billion euros by 2028, compared with 5.2 billion for the 2009-2019 period, as Germany shifts towards intermittent renewable energy sources.

Amprion also said it was also examining options to increase its exposure to capital markets through various debt instruments but had not yet hammered out any concrete plans.

The group currently finances about 60% of investments via debt and the rest with equity.

Smaller investors in the consortium may not have the funds for additional equity investment or are facing caps related to their own investment policy, people close to the matter said, adding that some existing owners may stump up additional cash or new shareholders may be brought in.

Unlike Tennet IPO-TTH.AS, which is in talks with Berlin about selling a stake in its German operations, Amprion has no plans to tap the state for funds, a person close to the company said.

Some investors are pushing for Amprion to use a higher portion of debt, 70-80%, to finance grid investments and are lobbying to replace M31’s lead manager Commerz Real, which favours a more conservative approach, the people said.

RWE, Commerz Real, Talanx, Munich Re and Swiss Life declined to comment. ($1 = 0.8480 euros) (Editing by Michelle Martin)

Source: Reuters

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