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Note 4 Intangible assets

Intangible assets

There were no investments in 2015. The goodwill allocated to Endinet has been classified with assets held for sale.

The investment in goodwill in 2014 relates to the acquisition of the gas distribution network in Heinsberg. In December 2013, Alliander AG reached agreement with EWV Energie- und Wasserversorgung GmbH on the purchase of the gas distribution network in the municipality of Heinsberg with effect from 1 January 2014. The related concession was acquired in 2012. The purchase price for the network, which was paid at the beginning of January 2014, was €10 million. The transaction included €1 million in respect of goodwill; this has been allocated to the Other segment.

For disclosures regarding the movements in 2014 relating to CDMA, see note [5].

Goodwill allocation by segment

Of the total amount of goodwill allocated to Liander, €209 million relates to electricity and gas networks and dates from the contribution of the networks when n.v. Nuon was created in 1999. The remaining €68 million is made up of €61 million relating to the acquisition of Endinet in 2010 and €7 million relating to Stam. The goodwill allocated to Endinet (€36 million) has been reclassified to assets held for sale. The goodwill allocated to the Other segment relates to network activities in Germany.

At year-end 2015, impairment tests were performed on the carrying amounts of the networks of Liander and the German networks, including the associated goodwill recognised. The value in use was taken as the basis for this calculation. The value in use was measured on the basis of the most recent business plans.

In the 2015 reporting period, Liander used a pre-tax discount rate of 5.6% for the years up to and including 2016 and 4.5% from 2017 onwards, which in both cases is in line with the official regulatory discount rate. The main assumptions on which these business plans are based are the number of connections, the most recent tariff estimates and estimates of operating expenses and other costs. To a large extent, these assumptions are based on past experience, coupled with the latest information on tariff regulation. The business plans cover a period of five years and the terminal value is calculated using the projected cash flows at the end of that period. A zero growth rate has been applied. The terminal value for the regulated activities is based on achieving the 'reasonable return' that a network operator can expect to achieve on its standardised asset value. Where appropriate, account is also taken of temporary or structural synergistic effects or other departures from the reasonable return. There is such a margin between the value in use and the carrying amount of the Liander networks that the sensitivity to changes in the estimates and assumptions used is limited.

As regards the networks in Germany, the discount rate used has been arrived at using the calculation method adopted by the German regulator, which gives a pre-tax discount rate of 7.0% for the years up to and including 2018 and 5.7% for later years (2014: 6.0%). Otherwise the underlying assumptions were the same as for Liander. The result of the impairment test on the German networks showed that there was very little difference between the value in use and the carrying amount. Like the network activities in the Netherlands, the German network activities are also regulated. Changes in costs, discount rates and investments are reflected in the tariffs. Changes in estimates and assumptions therefore have a limited impact on the results of the impairment calculation. There were no impairment losses in 2015 or 2014.

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