The roots of 50Hertz Transmission GmbH reach back to the year 1963, when VEB Verbundnetz Elektroenergie was established in the GDR as the operator of the extra high-voltage grid. By 1990, this grid was developed to reach a system length of 4,312 km at 380 kV and 6,416 km at 220 kV. In 55 substations, electricity was exchanged with the regional energy suppliers.
In 1991, Verbundnetz was incorporated into Vereinigte Energiewerke AG (VEAG), which was established one year earlier, together with the East German power plants. On 1 January 1994, VEAG was sold to a consortium of seven West German energy suppliers for six billion DM. The companies Preussen-Elektra, Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerke and Bayernwerk held 75% while the other 25% was held by EBH, a holding owned by BEWAG, VEW, Badenwerk, EVS and Hamburgische Electricitäts-Werken (HEW).
In 2001, HEW, which in the meantime had become a subsidiary of the Swedish company Vattenfall, acquired the majority share ownership in VEAG. This way, the transmission system now operated by 50Hertz became the property of Vattenfall. In June 2002, Vattenfall Europe transferred the transmission system to an independent subsidiary: Vattenfall Europe (VE) Transmission GmbH. In September 2002, VEAG was merged with the companies HEW, Laubag (Lausitzer Braunkohle AG) and BEWAG into the new company Vattenfall Europe.
In 2008, Vattenfall put VE Transmission GmbH up for sale. In 2010, the company was first renamed 50Hertz Transmission GmbH - 50Hertz in short - and later sold to the Belgian transmission system operator Elia and the Australian IFM Global Infrastructure Fund. Elia first held 60 % of the shares, while IFM held the other 40 %.
In 2018, IFM sold its shares to Elia and the KfW Bank Group. Today, the shareholders of 50Hertz are the Belgian Elia Group (80 per cent) and the KfW bank group with 20 per cent.