NET4GAS ANNOUNCES NEW CEO

Andreas Rau named CEO effective Dec 1, 2013, replacing Thomas Kleefuß

Prague, 2 December 2013 – Effective December 1, 2013, the NET4GAS Supervisory Board has appointed Andreas Rau (45) as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Rau will help oversee the continued growth of the Czech gas transportation and gas supply system, which has become one of the driving forces behind a greater central European gas-trading region.

“With almost 20 years of experience in the gas industry and in progressively senior management roles, Andreas Rau has the right qualifications to lead us in our next phase of growth – the design and construction of a Central European gas market,” said Jaroslava Korpanec, Chairman of the NET4GAS Supervisory Board. “On behalf all NET4GAS employees and members of the Supervisory Board, I would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation to Thomas Kleefuß for his excellent work and dedication over the past eight years including during the transition period since the change in ownership,” said Sebastien Sherman, member of the Board of Directors of NET4GAS.

An expert in both the gas sector and the Czech region and gas market, Mr. Rau is the Chairman and Managing Director of eustream, a.s., a gas pipeline operator in Slovakia with similar operations to those of NET4GAS. His past experience also includes acting as a member of the Board of Directors of SPP, a.s. (Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel), responsible, in particular, for gas supply & sales and gas trading, a role he held for a one-year period ending in January 2013.

“I look forward to my management role in one of the most accomplished gas transmission companies in Europe, and to working collaboratively with our strong and long-term oriented investors, Allianz and Borealis Infrastructure,” said Rau.  “I’d like to thank Thomas Kleefuß for overseeing the development of such a strong organization, and will continue to advance the market-oriented strategy of NET4GAS, and the expansion of cross-border transmission to provide a secure gas supply in Europe.”

Mr. Kleefuß has chosen to leave NET4GAS after overseeing its successful sale to Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) and Borealis Infrastructure as part of parent company RWE Group’s current divestment program.  The transaction was announced in March and closed in the summer of 2013.  “My mission has been fulfilled. It was not an easy decision for me, but after eight successful years, reaching this  milestone was the right time for a change of management. I wish Andreas all the best in overseeing the next stage of the company’s growth,” said Kleefuß.

Since 2006, first as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and later CEO and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Kleefuß’s accomplishments include the development of a sustainable independent Gas Transmission System Operator (TSO). During his tenure, he was responsible for key investment projects, such as the GAZELLE-Pipeline and Stork-Pipeline (Poland connection).

“In accordance with our motto ‘Connecting Markets,’ NET4GAS has shown that we are reliably responding to market needs, and even actively shaping them. We have developed a hub for the gas markets in Western and Central Europe, a strategic direction that is one of Thomas Kleefuß´s major achievements,” said Ing. Radek Benčík, COO and Managing Director of NET4GAS.

One of the major steps towards a larger and more efficient European gas market is the creation and functioning of cross-border gas markets. Such market integration contributes to the security of the energy supply, and generates lower gas prices in regional economies through increased competition. NET4GAS strongly supports the merger of the gas markets of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and the rest of the Visegrad countries, Poland and Hungary, with the central gas trading point in Baumgarten.  The design and implementation of a Central European gas market will be one of Andreas Rauʾs main challenges in the coming years.

Brief Portrait of NET4GAS:

NET4GAS s.r.o. (Czech Republic) holds an exclusive license as gas transmission system operator (TSO) in the Czech Republic, and is a reliable, strong and safe gas transmission system operator, providing fair access to the gas transportation and gas supply system to its national and international partners, and assuring the required transport capacity. The approximately 3,642 km long pipeline network of high-pressure pipelines supplies the Czech market and ensures the transport of natural gas through the country to markets throughout Europe. Thus, NET4GAS has at its disposal the crucial infrastructure for the transport of gas in Europe, and is transporting about 35 billion cubic meters of gas annually. NET4GAS employs around 500 people, and in the last fiscal year, it posted a profit of EUR 270 million. Since the summer of 2013, Allianz Capital Partners and Borealis Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment company of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), each hold a 50 per cent stake in NET4GAS s.r.o. For more information, go to www.net4gas.cz.

Vita Andreas Rau (45):

Andreas Rau studied Mechanical Engineering at the Ruhr University in Bochum, and European Studies at RWTH Aachen. His career in the energy industry began in 1997 with Ruhrgas AG Technical Andreas Rau CEO  Net4GasSystem Design in Essen. After holding various positions in technical and commercial gas transmission management with E.ON Ruhrgas AG, he was appointed member of the Board of Directors of eustream, a.s. in Bratislava in 2006, where he later took over as Chairman of the Board of Directors. By the end of 2011, he developed eustream into a separate and independent transmission system operator, which in terms of transmission volume belongs to one of the largest TSOs in the EU. In early 2012, Andreas Rau was appointed member of the Board of Directors of SPP, a.s. in Bratislava, where he was responsible for gas supply & sales, gas trading), electricity sales activities and portfolio optimization until early 2013.

Vita Thomas Kleefuß (50):

Thomas Kleefuss studied business administration at the University of Cologne. He began his career in 1990 as Controller, and later as Senior Auditor with DEMINEX GmbH in Essen. In 1996, he went Thomas Kleefuß CEO  Net4Gasto Egypt, where he was responsible for Cairo upstream activities for DEMINEX, and later for RWE Dea as financial manager. In 2000, he became Head of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Marketing at RWE Dea AG in Hamburg. There, he was responsible for the marketing and trading of national and international reserves of RWE Dea. From 2004, he held the position of Head of Natural Gas Purchasing for the West region at RWE Energy AG, and was responsible for the purchase of natural gas from Norway and the Netherlands for the continental market of RWE. From 2006 to 2013, he was CEO of NET4GAS s.r.o. in Prague. Thomas Kleefuß has more than two decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, and has held various management positions in finance and trading of crude oil and natural gas.

About Allianz Capital Partners

Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) is the Group’s own investment platform for alternative investments of Allianz SE, with an investment volume of around EUR 9.4 billion. In its investment strategy, ACP pays particular attention to finding custom tailored assets for long-term liabilities in Allianz Group’s life insurance business, which generate long-term, stable, inflation-proof cash flow, such as investment opportunities in infrastructure and renewable energy.

Allianz, jointly with its customers and sales partners, is one of the strongest financial communities. Around 78 million private and corporate customers rely on the knowledge, global reach, capital strength and dependability of Allianz to capitalise on financial opportunities, and to avoid and safeguard themselves against risks.

About Borealis Infrastructure

Borealis Infrastructure is a leader in the field of direct infrastructure investment, with a decade of investment experience. Borealis manages about CAD 10 billion of the OMERS shareholder equity by investing in a diversified portfolio of large, stable infrastructure assets, which generate strong cash flow, including in the energy and transport sector and in state-regulated services. It has offices in Toronto, London and New York. Borealis is the infrastructure investment company of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, with net assets of more than CAD 60 billion and an AAA rating. For more information, go to www.borealis.ca or www.omers.com.

 

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