The Economy Ministry doesn’t view as feasible a proposal that the Slovak government exercise its right of first refusal to buy the 49 percent of the gas utility SPP that is currently being sold by E.ON Ruhrgas and GdF Suez, according to an analysis presented to the cabinet on Wednesday, October 10. The state already owns a 51-percent stake.
The foreign shareholders have been holding talks on the sale with Czech energy company Energetický a Prúmyslový Holding for some time, the TASR newswire wrote. If the state could come up with the funds, however, Slovakia could buy back the 49-percent stake.
The state would have to use money from state financial assets for such a purchase, but at the moment it does not have enough available. It could raise the money by, for example, intensifying collection activities vis-a-vis foreign and domestic debtors, and selling ownership stakes in other state assets via the National Property Fund (FNM) and individual ministries, the Economy Ministry noted. But all these options would take too long to raise the money required, it concluded. If Energetický a Prúmyslový Holding buys into SPP, the state says it will ensure that its own position as majority shareholder will improve compared to the current situation, in which the foreign shareholders have a significant say.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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