Development after German reunification
Based on the so-called electricity contract of 22 August 1990 involving the East German government, the Treuhandanstalt privatisation agency, the large West German interconnected grid operators and five smaller enterprises, the new interconnected system operator Vereinigte Energiewerke AG (VEAG) was incorporated on 12 December 1990. The major East German power plants and the extra-high voltage grid were combined under the umbrella of VEAG in February 1991. Management services to VEAG were provided by West German electric utility companies Preussen-Elektra, RWE and Bayernwerk.
In 1994, VEAG was, at a price of six billion deutschmarks, sold to a consortium consisting of the seven West German utility companies. Preussen-Elektra, Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerke (RWE) and Bayernwerk held a share of 75%, and 25% went to EBH, a holding company owned by utility companies BEWAG, VEW, Badenwerk, EVS and HEW.
In 2001, Hamburgische Electricitäts-Werke (HEW), a subsidiary of the Swedish state-owned utility company Vattenfall since 2000, acquired the majority of shares in VEAG. HEW, lignite-mining company LAUBAG and BEWAG were then merged with VEAG into a new company, Vattenfall Europe, in September 2002. As early as June 2002, the transmission system was the first company spun off VEAG to become a Vattenfall Europe subsidiary. The initial leases of transmission system assets in Hamburg and Berlin were followed by an asset transfer to VE Transmission GmbH in 2006.
In 2008, Vattenfall Europe AG announced its intention to divest its transmission system and put VE Transmission up for sale. The company was renamed 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, 50Hertz in brief, on 05 January 2010.
Since 19 May 2010, 50Hertz has had new owners. Belgium transmission system operator Elia held 60% of the company's shares while 40% were held by Australian infrastructure fund IFM Investors. In 2018, IFM decided to sell its shares. In a first step, Elia acquired a first 20% share package from IFM. Later that year Elia aquired the remaining 20% stake held by IFM and immediately sold the stake to German state-owned bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).