Enel, which owns 66 percent of SE, said in a statement that in coming weeks the two parties may sign a binding agreement for the sale of a stake, depending on the outcome of the negotiations.
The announcement comes after Slovakia’s Economy Minister Vazil Hudák said on August 20 that China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the state-run energy enterprise, was expected to place a binding bid for Enel’s stake in SE by the end of August, as reported by Reuters.
“We confirm that we launched exclusive talks on the stock’s sale with Enel,” EPH spokesperson Daniel Častvaj told the Sme daily. “We, however, will not publish any further details.”
EPH is owned by Czech businessman Daniel Křetinský, Slovak businessman Patrik Tkáč and J&T financial group. The latter already owns shares of other energy companies in Slovakia: Stredoslovenská Energetika, Eustream and SPP-Distribúcia, Sme wrote.
The sale of the 66-percent share is part of a €5-billion euro disposal plan to fund development at Enel, Europe’s most indebted utility. The equity value of the stake is thought to be around €800-900 million, Reuters wrote.
Enel CEO Francesco Starace has said the sale would take place in two stages to allow the Italian utility to maintain a holding until the completion of two new units at the Mochovce nuclear power plant, expected in 2018.
Aside from EPH, also Slovak-Hungarian consortium Slovnaft – MVM Group has already confirmed its interest in SE stock. Some media outlets also mentioned as potential bidders the Finnish company Fortum and the Slovak government; the latter currently owns 34 percent of SE shares.
The government, however, still has not found an advisor for the purchase of the shares. The only firm from which the Economy Ministry has received an offer is Czech law firm Havel, Holásek & Partners and the Centire company, Sme wrote.
“I can confirm that we submitted a bid and we are interested in working on this transaction,” the law firm’s spokesperson Veronika Ryšávková told Sme.
Though Hudák confirmed receiving one bid, he did not specify from who it was.
“It created a certain situation which is new, as there is only one offer, which completely changes the competition,” Hudák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The second aspect is that the offer is much higher than the one defined in the materials. We will have to adjust the selection process a bit.”
24. Aug 2015 at 13:28 | Compiled by Spectator staff