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European power bourse Epex spot to swallow Anglo-Dutch APX

[PARIS] European power bourse Epex Spot will absorb Anglo-Dutch rival APX group, which handles spot electricity trading in Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium, creating a large pan-European trading operator, the two companies said on Friday.

Amsterdam-based APX, currently owned by Belgian power transmission system operator (TSO) Elia and its Dutch counterpart TenneT, will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Paris-based Epex Spot, the companies said. "This is a leap forward for power trading in Central Western Europe and facilitates the creation of the European power market," Jean-François Conil-Lacoste, Chairman of the Management Board of Epex Spot said in a statement.

After the deal closes on May 4, the EEX group, controlled by Deutsche Boerse, will own 51 per cent of the new Epex Spot. TenneT, Elia and French power grid RTE will own the remaining 49 per cent.

The companies said power traders will benefit from harmonised trading systems, one single rulebook and one admission process for the entire region, therefore reducing trading costs and lowering entry barriers for new participants. "It will increase liquidity and render the CWE power market even more attractive", René Kerkmeester, CEO of APX Group said in the statement.

Electricity trading volumes at Epex Spot, which covers France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, rose 10.4 per cent to 382 terawatt-hours in 2014. APX's trading volumes stood at 92 TWh.

Epex Spot competes with N2EX, jointly operated by Nasdaq OMX and Nordic exchange Nord Pool Spot.

REUTERS