Hera’s past features a peculiar aspect: the Group is considered to be one of the main interpreters of the sector consolidation process with a merger model which has involved more than 20 utility companies, including the establishment in 2002, and which has ensured more than 40% of the growth of the results in the last 14 years. The merger transactions have been financed mainly by the issue of new shares and have almost doubled the overall number of shares representing the share capital: from 789 million in 2002 they became 1,490 million at the end of 2017. These transactions led to the dilution of the equity investments of the shareholders, and corresponding average growth in earnings per share of 9.0%. The creation of value took place thanks also to the extraction of synergies and the increased economies of scale. The Group’s capitalisation at the end of 2017 reached nearly Euro 4.4 billion (compared with Euro 1 billion in 2003).
The expansion of the shareholding structure maintained a constant balance between the public and private component, and extended the diversification of the shareholders both in terms of number and geographic origin.
Furthermore, the shareholders’ meeting authorised the exercise of a plan for the repurchase of own shares for a maximum of 60 million shares (equal to 4% of the share capital) for the purpose of creating value for the shareholders and for use in the event of M&A transactions.