BUSINESS IN SHORT

State interested in buying SE stake

APART from the Czech energy firm ČEZ and the Czech Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), the Slovak government is also considered to be one of the potential buyers of the 66-percent stake in the Slovak major electricity producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) from its Italian owner, Enel Group. Slovakia may acquire the stake via an energy holding managing shares in energy firms owned by the state.

APART from the Czech energy firm ČEZ and the Czech Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), the Slovak government is also considered to be one of the potential buyers of the 66-percent stake in the Slovak major electricity producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) from its Italian owner, Enel Group. Slovakia may acquire the stake via an energy holding managing shares in energy firms owned by the state.

Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis opines that the state would be the best owner of SE. He admitted on September 10 that the state could try to purchase the 66-percent stake.

“From my point of view the state would be one of the best owners,” Pavlis said on September 10, as cited by the TASR newswire. “It is one of the possibilities.”

The Economy Ministry is still considering establishing an energy holding that would manage shares in energy firms which are in the state’s hands. Pavlis indicated that the state could try to purchase the stake from Enel via this holding.

“A holding structure creates an opportunity for some funds to be spent beyond the state budget,” the minister said with regard to the way the state would be able to finance the purchase of the majority share in the power utility.

The minister confirmed after the cabinet session that ČEZ and EPH, in which the J&T group and entrepreneurs Daniel Křetinský and Patrik Tkáč hold stakes, are interested in SE, too.

“It is currently a matter of discussions, but first of all, it is Enel’s business, as Enel is selling its stake,” Pavlis said.

Enel’s management approved the sale of its stake in SE in early July. In addition, the company agreed to sell its assets in Romania.

The sale of assets in Slovakia and Romania is a part of a wider plan of a sale of assets worth €6 billion. Enel bought the 66-percent stake in SE for €840 million in 2006 as part of the Slovak government’s privatisation drive, and has invested billions of euros in modernising its facilities. The Slovak National Property Fund owns the remaining 34-percent stake while the Economy Ministry administers the ownership rights on its behalf.

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