E.ON Close to Selling IT Subsidiary

E.ON AG, one of the four major German utilities, is on the brink of selling its IT subsidiary E.ON IS, Financial Times Deutschland reports.

“We are in the process of narrowing down the group of potential buyers”, an E.On spokesperson confirmed.

Selling E.ON IS is part of the austerity program “Perform to Win”, initiated by COO Johannes Teyssen. Mr Teyssen will succeed the current CEO Wulf Bernotat in May 2o1o.

According to industry experts, Deutsche Telekom is among the those interested in buying E.ON. Deutsche Telekom declined to comment. A spokesperson did, however, say that E.ON IS would complement the existing smart meter business well. IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Siemens are said to be among the bidders, too.

Interested parties can bid on one or all of the three following business segments of E.ON IS: IT infrastructure including the computer center, support for the technical equipment of the workplaces, e.g. network access and printers, and thirdly the communication business, including telefony and video conferencing. E.ON will, however, keep the software and application business and all activities related to the electricity grids and the power plants. According to the annual financial statement for 2008, E.ON IS generated net profits of EUR 7.7 million and a turnover of EUR 530 million. Including nine foreign subsidiaries, the company employs a staff of 3,200. The business segments the E.ON wants to part with generate a turnover of approximately EUR 400 million with a staff of 1,600.

Sven Bergelin, member of the board of the trade union ver.di, criticized the sales plans. “E.ON is passing up growth opportunities, e.g. in the smart meter business”, he said. Eon denied that a sale of E.ON IS would mean the company was abandoning the smart meter business. “Smart metering will get more importance”, the company insisted on Monday.
According to business experts, the smart metering business segment could be worth billions.
Source: Financial Times Deutschland

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