BUSINESS IN SHORT

Enel gets three bids, waits for more

THE MAJORITY owner of the dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), Italian Enel, has received three offers for its 66-percent stake in SE but expects that further bids could still arrive. In the meantime, Slovakia has not yet agreed over an increase of the budget to complete the second two blocks of the nuclear power station in Mochovce.

THE MAJORITY owner of the dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), Italian Enel, has received three offers for its 66-percent stake in SE but expects that further bids could still arrive. In the meantime, Slovakia has not yet agreed over an increase of the budget to complete the second two blocks of the nuclear power station in Mochovce.

“For now, there are three [bids] but we haven’t stopped counting because there’s no deadline, and more could be on their way,” Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel, said as cited by Reuters.

Italians refused to identify from whom they have received the non-binding offers, but those interested can submit offers until the end of November, Enel’s spokesperson told the vEnergetike.sk website dedicated to energy.

Media speculate that the offers might have arrived from Czech energy companies ČEZ or Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) or the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) while in total more than five investors took over information materials. Among the interested companies are also Hungarian MOL and MDMN, according to the Pravda daily.

ČEZ has indicated that the incomplete Mochovce plant is a problem for it. Daniel Beneš, director general of ČEZ, said on November 12 in response to published economic results for the third quarter of 2014 that “SE is not in an ideal condition”, as cited by the Czech website Patria Finance.

According to Tomáš Sýkora, senior analyst with Patria Finance, Beneš’s words might mean efforts to increase pressure on the price during negotiations about the potential acquisition of Enel’s shares in SE but also reduce the chance that ČEZ would in the end acquire the 66-percent stake in SE.

In the meantime, the approval process of the new budget for completion of the second two blocks of Mochovce continues as the SE extraordinary general assembly expected to decide about this issue was moved from November 7 to November 21. The so-far approved budget for completion of Mochovce is €3.8 billion, while SE is asking for an alleged €800 million hike in the budget. Since the state holds a 34 percent stake in SE, it needs to get approval from it as well.

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