Commitments and contingencies

Corporate liens, sureties and guarantees

As at 31 December 2012, these amounted to 559,217 thousand euros (377,039 thousand euros at 31 December 2011). The change compared with the end of the previous financial year mainly derives from:

  • the raising of a Global Guarantee of 25,000 thousand euros issued in March 2012 in favour of Egl Italia in the interests of Acea Energia Holding S.p.A. as a back-to-back guarantee on electrical energy trading transactions agreed or to be agreed between the parties;
  • the setup of Global Guarantees for 15,000 thousand euros and 35,000 thousand euros issued in March 2012 in favour of Barclays Bank and BNP Paribas, respectively, in the interests of Acea Energia Holding as back-to-back guarantees on transactions agreed or to be agreed between the parties under the terms of the ISDA Master Agreement reached. Note that during the year the guarantee in favour of BNP was released in the sum of 17,937 thousand euros;
  • the setup of the guarantee in favour of Deutsche Bank AG for 10,000 thousand euros, issued in August 2012 in the interests of Acea Energia Holding as back-to-back guarantees on transactions agreed or to be agreed between the parties under the terms of the ISDA Master Agreement reached on 25 July;
  • the raising of the guarantee in favour of Iren Mercato S.p.A. in the amount of 8,000 thousand euros for the precise fulfilment of the EFET agreement stipulated in July 2012 between the beneficiary company and Acea Energia Holding;
  • the pledge of 2,701 thousand euros on the bank guarantee issued in the interests of Acea Distribuzione and 1,501 thousand euros granted in the interests of Acea Ato2 in favour of Roma Capitale in relation to the agreement on the implementation of works under the “Technology Project” for the new multi-service cabling networks in Via Tiburtina and surrounding streets;
  • the raising of bank guarantees for a total of 4,127 thousand euros issued by BBVA on behalf of ARSE to guarantee agreements for the planning, supply and installation of PV plants in the municipalities of Scalea, Villapiana, Cassano and Orsomarso;
  • the bank guarantee of 431,717 euros issued in favour of Umbria Distribuzione Gas SPA on behalf of Acea Energia to guarantee the natural gas distribution service provided by Acea Energia;
  • the raising of the guarantee of 49,000 thousand euros in favour of Enel Trade in the interests of Acea Energia Holding as a back-to-back guarantee on electrical energy trading transactions;
  • the extension to 2,606 euros of the guarantee issued in favour of Italgas SpA in the interests of Acea Energia in October 2010;
  • the extinction of the surety of 3,425 thousand euros issued by ACEA with regard to the selection of a partner for Publiacqua in the Municipality of Florence;
  • the setup of the bank guarantee issued by the Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria bank in favour of the national grid operator for the precise fulfilment of the obligation of the company A.R.I.A. S.r.l. to return the amount of 1,295 thousand euros to the national grid operator.

Among the corporate liens, sureties and guarantees in place at 31 December 2012, worthy of mention are:

  • 425 thousand euros for the back-to-back guarantee issued for Acea Energia Holding for the new office lease contract;
  • 41,090 thousand euros for the bank guarantees issued by Acea Energia, mostly in favour of Terna relative to the electricity dispatch service contract;
  • 53,666 thousand euros in the form of a bank guarantee issued by ACEA to Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in relation to refinancing of the loan issued to ACEA Distribuzione. This is a sole guarantee giving the lender first claim and covering all obligations linked to the original loan (493 million euros). The sum of 53,666 thousand euros refers to the guaranteed portion exceeding the loan originally disbursed (439 million euros);
  • the issue of a bank guarantee for 120,000 thousand euros issued in January 2012 by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in the interests of the European Investment Bank for the loan agreement signed between Acea SpA and the EIB on 14 September 2009;
  • a surety of 7,747 thousand euros issued by ACEA Ato2 to the Area Authority, guaranteeing the correct fulfilment of the obligations undertaken as part of the concession agreement. This surety runs out on 6 August 2007 and is renewable;
  • 1,471 thousand euros issued by ACEA to Aquaser to guarantee the credit line granted to Solemme;
  • 3,783 thousand euros issued in favour of ARIA SPA, which replaced EALL following the merger by incorporation on 1 August 2011, to Terna as a guarantee for the hedging of direct and indirect risks and charges deriving from works that the latter will have to carry out for the connection to the national grid of the San Vittore del Lazio waste-to-energy plant;
  • 46,185 thousand euros to the Inland Revenue, to guarantee the splitting into instalments of the sums due as a result of tax settlements of Acea Energia (9,158 thousand euros) and ACEA S.p.A. (37,027 thousand euros);
  • 50,000 thousand euros in favour of Acea Energia and in the interests of Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. as a back-to-back guarantee for the transport of electricity;
  • 68,277 thousand euros in favour of the Acquirente Unico and in the interests of Acea Energia S.p.A. as a back-to-back guarantee relating to the electricity sale agreement signed between the parties;
  • 2,844 thousand euros for the surety, required by article 31 of the Technical Regulations, issued by UNICREDIT in the interests of Acea Ato5 in favour of the AATO, calculated on 10% of the three-year average of the Financial-Tariff Plan of the AATO’s Area Plan.
  • 5,936 thousand euros issued by insurance companies on behalf of Aria Srl in favour of the Umbria Regional Government (1,320 thousand euros) to guarantee authorisation for management of the Paliano plant, and the Lazio Regional Government (3,829 thousand euros) for authorised operations on lines I and II of the San Vittore plant in Lazio;
  • 2,099 thousand euros for the surety in favour of the Lazio Regional Government issued by Assicurazioni Generali on behalf of Aria srl for the share capital increase guaranteed following higher annual and daily quantities of Lines II and III authorised by the Lazio Regional Government with Decree 1305477 of 20 August 2012
  • 21,424 thousand euros issued by insurance institutions on behalf of SAO: (i) in favour of the Province of Terni for the management of landfill operations and post-closure operations (15,492 thousand euros) and waste disposal (3,157 thousand euros) and (ii) in favour of suppliers to back contracts (2,775 thousand euros).

Sureties issued also include those issued by ACEA to Sidra S.p.A., totalling 6,830 thousand euros, in relation to a contract to carry out a “Project to repair water leaks in the Catania distribution network” and sureties amounting to 5,165 thousand euros issued to the Sarnese Vesuviano Area Authority in order to take part in the tender process to select a partner to take an interest in G.O.R.I. S.p.A.