Main shareholders of Vodakva are the Water Management Association of the West Bohemia Region and the French company SUEZ, world leader in energy and environment.
|Water Management Association of West Bohemia Region||46,78%|
The Water Management Association of the West Bohemia Region is a voluntary union of 98 municipalities and 2 associations of municipalities from the districts of Karlovy Vary, Tachov, Sokolov, Chomutov and Rakovník. The association was established in 1993. Its key objective is to carry out the management, operation and development of water supply and wastewater treatment systems, which is municipalities‘legal obligation. At the beginning the Association consisted of only municipalities from the Karlovy Vary region and had 40 members. Its apparent economical success and applied system of the infrastructure’s ownership and operation also persuaded municipalities from other regions to join it. The number of its members has more than doubled since year 2000. Nowadays the Association covers a region of approximately 3,000 km2 which includes the regions of Karlovy Vary, Plzeň, Ústí nad Labem and Central Bohemia with 190,000 inhabitants. The total association’s property amounts to 6,6 billion CZK.
Voluntary association of equal municipalities
To become a member of The Water management Association of the West Bohemia Region, the municipality should transfer its water assets to the Association. New members are approved by the General Meeting. The voluntary membership is defined in association’s articles that enable each municipality to leave the Association with its water assets. The General Meeting is the Association’s supreme body, where each municipality has one vote. They vote on water and wastewater rates, investment, plans etc.
Water under public control
By concluding an exclusive lease, the Association transferred the responsibility for running and upgrading existing water and wastewater infrastructure to the operating company Vodárny a kanalizace Karlovy Vary (Vodakva) and became one of its two main shareholders. The other one, an international group SUEZ, which is active in water industry for a long time, has concluded a shareholders’ agreement with the Association. This agreement regulates the voting system and states how to share positions in statutory bodies. The Association in cooperation with the worldwide water company SUEZ influence and check the quality of services and supervise the management of Vodakva. The municipalities also check the realization of investments carried out by Vodakva via their membership in public procurement committees.
Operation and investment solidarity
All Association’s revenues coming from the rent paid by Vodakva, dividends from Vodakva´s shares and capital subsidies from different sources are used to finance investments in water and wastewater systems. The total solidarity of Association’s members means that they are not only sharing operation but also investments. This enables them to generate sufficient financial resources to build necessary municipal water and wastewater infrastructure without having a negative impact on municipal budgets. The investment solidarity also supports optimal technical and economical solutions in extending water supply systems and building multi-municipal wastewater networks with wastewater treatment plants. The result is that the total Association´s property has increased from the existing CZK 1.2 billion to 6.6 billion.
The French company Lyonnaise des Eaux was the first foreign investor in water services business in the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic in the early 1990s. After the country’s division the company remained active in the Czech Republic and in the late 1990s expanded business to Slovakia. Initially these activities were part of Lyonnaise des Eaux international expansion. Later, following a merger of the companies SUEZ and Lyonnaise des Eaux in 1997, the firm began to form a large, multinational Franco-Belgian group, which has been later renamed SUEZ. In 2008 the company SUEZ merged with Gaz de France and a new group GdF SUEZ was created. The environmental activities of the company were transferred to a new company SUEZ, placed on the Paris stock exchange. GDF SUEZ became the main shareholder of SUEZ.
SUEZ is today one of the biggest utilities companies and has about 80,000 employees all over the world. In more than a decade-long presence in the Czech water services market, SUEZ has acquired stakes in 10 water and wastewater companies throughout the entire Czech Republic. After a number of mergers, SUEZ is currently active in 5 Czech water companies:
Brněnské vodárny a kanalizace, a. s. (Brno)
Ostravské vodárny a kanalizace a. s. (Ostrava)
Vodárny a kanalizace Karlovy Vary, a. s., (the Karlovy Vary Plzeň, Central Bohemia and Ústí nad Labem regions)
Šumperská provozní a vodohospodářská společnost, a. s. (Šumperk and its vicinity)
Vodohospodářská společnost Benešov, s. r. o., (the Benešov region)
These companies provide drinking water to 1.1 million inhabitants of the Czech Republic. SUEZ is also one of the biggest private water operators in the Czech Republic. Over the years, it has succeeded to create a consolidated group of water companies that became a part of the international SUEZ group. The group´s philosophy is always based on the close partnership with cities and municipalities and with industrial enterprises. Only this partnership, which involves creating of equal relations and respecting of local conditions and specificities together with tailored services, is the guarantee of a long term presence on the market. SUEZ is aware of this fact and therefore the group aims to implement the philosophy in everyday work of its employees in all water companies, members of the group in the Czech Republic.