Economy

Dax group BayWa relies on solar energy – and is taking full risk

The BayWa corporate headquarters.

dpa

Klaus Josef Lutz is in a good mood on Thursday. The head of the Munich concern Baywa presents the company’s quarterly figures with a Bavarian touch – and they are impressive. The listed company with a focus on agriculture achieved a profit before taxes and interest of 102.7 million euros in the first half of the year. “Baywa is well positioned in the corona crisis, delivers and can present strong figures,” says Lutz in the quarterly call.

An important growth driver for the company: Renewable energies, of all things. The former agricultural company has diversified its portfolio – and, in accordance with Lutz’s will, will be relying entirely on solar energy in the future.

According to NewsABC.net, Lutz has already found an investor for his plan: a Swiss fund managed by Credit Suisse. The fund is to contribute up to 500 million euros to the construction of solar parks. For the company listed on the S-Dax, the switch to solar is not without risk. Industry insiders told NewsABC.net that the market is filled with strong players who are grappling with tough challenges – and who have years of experience in the segment. Baywa is a large tanker that is now rolling onto the solar field, but so far it has had manageable experience in the industry.

With the move into the renewable energies sector, Lutz wants his company to be perceived much more broadly – and to be in the spotlight of the capital market. With his plans he succeeded. The problem: once the spotlight of the capital market is on you, you have to deliver. This puts Lutz and his company under additional pressure to turn the solar business into a relevant success as quickly as possible.

The capital market can also be relentless. Lutz made hints in this direction in the quarterly call on Thursday. He refers to the company’s shareholder structure, which has been stable for years and decades – with a reference to the fact that BayWa has no interest in private equity companies joining the company.

Lutz also has an even more important pound: the agriculture business. Industry insiders consider Baywa to be a globally relevant player in the grain trade. It’s a deal that brought the company € 10.9 billion last year – more than a fat cornerstone of the company.

Lutz has been a board member at Baywa for 12 years. During the quarterly call, the CEO mentioned that it is now his 50s. Lutz has achieved a lot at Baywa, and the diversification of the portfolio is also the result of his work. Now he wants to lead the company into the future with the big entry into the renewable energies and solar sectors – and cement his legacy with the company. But whether he will really succeed is completely open.

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