Axpo Iberia S.L. has decided to strengthen its presence in the Portuguese energy market by acquiring 25% of the share capital of Goldenergy, a company belonging to the Grupo Dourogás which has a current portfolio of more than 250,000 customers to which it supplies electricity and natural gas within different consumption categories: industry, services and the domestic market. Present in several areas of Portugal, Goldenergy has been selling natural gas and electricity on the Portuguese market since May 2008 and directly and indirectly provides employment for around 400 workers.

Following the liberalisation of the Portuguese natural gas market, which took place in recent years, Goldenergy has posted notable growth in consumers’ transition from the regulated market to the free market. It currently has a 23% market share in terms of the number of customers in the domestic gas consumption sector on the liberalised market and it believes that there are still opportunities for growth. Axpo is therefore the ideal shareholder to provide the financial soundness and experience needed.

To date, Axpo has had a limited presence in the Portuguese market with a market share of around 1.3%, very much based on supplying energy to industrial customers spanning practically all lines of business. This transaction will decidedly strengthen its activity in Portugal and it will take on new markets with lower consumption customers, SMEs and even domestic consumers.

The agreement was arranged in Lisbon on 30 july between Nuno Afonso Moreira, CEO from Golden-ergy, and Ignacio Soneira, CEO at Axpo Iberia, S.L. “Following this transaction, Goldenergy will be able to benefit from Axpo’s international experience, experience with wholesale energy markets and its risk management. Its financial robustness will be key in financing our plans for growth and together we will be able to improve both companies’ positions in the Iberian market”, Nuno Afonso Moreira com-mented.

Ignacio Soneira stated after concluding the agreement: “Until now, Axpo Iberia’s presence in Portugal was limited to the large and medium customer segments and with this transaction we are taking a major step towards entering into a new segment such as domestic gas and electricity customers. This represents a highly attractive challenge and an opportunity to learn and continue to grow in other markets and segments”.

This agreement is subject to approval by the authorities regulating the market, and it is forecast to come into effect in October. Following the share investment, Goldenergy’s management team will stay intact, and so will the business structure and employment positions.

Since it entered the Iberian market in 2002, Axpo Iberia has gradually expanded its lines of business in Spain and Portugal. It currently covers a wide range of services: electricity and gas sales; energy management for special system producers; Operation and control power generation centres (CECOGEL in Spanish); structured products and electricity, biomass and CO2 trading.