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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-German utility Enercity, Compleo merge electric car charging units to meet growing demand

(Corrects sales object and role of Compleo, corrects price)

FRANKFURT, March 26 (Reuters) - The German city of Hanover’s power utility, Enercity, said on Friday it has sold shares in its vehicle charging firm wallbe to Compleo Charging Solutions for 34.8 million euros ($41.05 million),

Compleo will merge wallbe to create an e-mobility charging infrastructure supplier.

A number of German utilities have set out plans to decarbonise in the wake of the country’s decision to wean itself off coal-generated power by 2038 and pursue other renewable energy sources.

Compleo, which is listed, and wallbe will have 50 million euros’ turnover and tap into growth in Germany and Europe electric car ownership, Enercity’s chief executive Susanna Zapreva said in a call after financial results for 2020.

“We are happy to retain a share of 2.5% in the merged entity,” she said, adding the two brands would continue to operate under their own names in the first year.

With 45,000 charging points already delivered and big growth potential looming, the move would help secure access to production capacities and knowledge in simplifying card payment mechanisms at charging stations, Zapreva said.

“We have strenghtened our growing role in electricity and renewable energy infrastructure, services and customer solutions,” she said.

Enercity is 76%-publicly owned and the remainder by local utility holding company Thuega.

Enercity is commited to invest 1.5 billion euros in the five-year period ending in 2025, among other objectives, to prepare for exiting coal generation by 2030 and replace conventional power provision with digitisation, fibre optics and mobility.

It aims to double earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)to 220 million euros by 2025 compared with 2016.

$1 = 0.8477 euros Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Thomas Escritt and Louise Heavens

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