Investing in local infrastructure, Accolade expands its presence in the Cheb area by buying shares in water supply, sewerage, and heat supply through the acquisition of GELSENWASSER Beteiligungen SE
Accolade strengthens its position in the Karlovy Vary region. The group buys the German entity GELSENWASSER Beteiligungen SE from GELSENWASSER AG and with it shares in three regional providers of water supply, sewage disposal as well as heat and power generation: CHEVAK Cheb a.s., TEREA Cheb s.r.o. and KMS Kraslická městská společnost s.r.o. The move shows Accolade’s increasing commitment to the region and the development of local infrastructure.
Accolade buys a 28.16% share in CHEVAK Cheb and a 50% share in the two other companies from infrastructure specialist GELSENWASSER AG through the full acquisition of GELSENWASSER Beteiligungen SE, which holds shares in the aforementioned companies. GELSENWASSER AG has operated in the Cheb area since 1995. This represents industrial real estate group Accolade’s first investment in this sector.
“Through this acquisition, Accolade seeks to further strengthen its position in the Karlovy Vary region, which we consider to be a very important area and where we have been investing not only in industrial real estate but also in related infrastructure for a long time. Moreover, we have been supporting local residents culturally and socially,” commented Milan Kratina, Accolade CEO.
Accolade has expanded its portfolio by adding expertise in the supply of drinking water, heat, and power; wastewater collection and treatment; project and laboratory activities; and water management building construction. This is a significant change in the sustainable infrastructure sector in Cheb and the surrounding areas.
“GELSENWASSER AG, in cooperation with various municipal partners, has been successful in developing these three companies for about 25 years. We are certain that in Accolade we have found a committed new partner, which will continue to foster local development,” said Dr Bernhard Schaefer, GELSENWASSER AG Head of Corporate Development. “Moving forward, GELSENWASSER AG will now focus on its activities in Germany and Poland,” he added.
CHEVAK, for instance, is the water and sewerage provider for 85,000 residents, and is majority-owned by local municipalities. It is precisely with these municipalities that Accolade would like to establish a generally beneficial relationship.
“Of course investors always want to maximise the value of their investment, that is, to make a profit. However, the projects where we have first and foremost invested in local residents have, time and again, proven to be the most successful in the long term,” added Mr Kratina. All three companies entered by Accolade have reported both positive equity and promising business results over an extended period. The aforementioned transaction is subject to approval by the Office for the Protection of Competition in the Czech Republic.
Accolade has played a significant role in the region since 2013. This June, the group announced investments of more than 6 billion CZK in the construction of local industrial facilities, such as two industrial parks with five buildings and thirteen tenants. “We knew that the historical Sudetenland area had long been neglected by both the state and private sector, a fact reflected in wages and unemployment,” said Mr Kratina, adding that Accolade has created over 3,500 new jobs in the region.
Accolade has bought land from the town of Cheb for more than 205 million CZK and is one of the proud sponsors of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Moreover, the group is involved in several social programmes, cooperating with the Cheb theatre, St. George's Hospice, and Joker social services.
GELSENWASSER AG, founded in the Ruhr area in 1887 to supply water to the coal and steel industries as well as to the region’s households, is one of the largest German water companies today. For decades, the company has moved into new business areas due to structural changes, requiring commitment and foresight from its employees. Infrastructure and supply are now its main focus: from water and wastewater, energy (gas, electricity, wind power, photovoltaics, heat), and digital technologies to recycling management (sewage sludge incineration and phosphorus recycling). GELSENWASSER AG operates in the water and energy industries, as well as sewage disposal, in more than 70 cities and towns. The company also collaborates with over 30 drinking water and gas providers.
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