Strong interest in Slovak heating companies

THE NATIONAL PROPERTY FUND (FNM) announced that 64 entities have expressed interest in acquiring 51-percent stakes in six state-owned heating companies. The FNM currently owns the stakes in the Bratislava, Žilina, Martin, Zvolen, Trnava, and Košice utilities.

The Košice firm attracted the most interest from investors (19) while the Bratislava firm attracted the least (12), TASR news agency writes.

The financial groups Penta Investments and J&T and the gas utility Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP) confirmed that they have expressed interest in all six heating companies. Another financial group, Slavia Capital, is bidding for four heating companies according to company spokesman Peter Benčúrik.

The German Verbundnetz Gas and the Czech MVV Energie CZ also are expected to bid for the Slovak heating firms. Both companies have expressed interest in the past. The city of Košice also recently announced that it was interested in acquiring the stake in the Košice heating company.

The FNM started the privatization of heating companies in the beginning of December last year, and the goal is to conclude the process by the end of the second quarter of 2006.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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