5 Bidders Seek to Broker CEZ Bulgaria Stake Sale, 7 – EVN

Energy | June 16, 2011, Thursday // 19:29|  views

EVN and CEZ units in Bulgaria include two companies each in charge of sales and grid operation. Photo by BGNES

Five financial companies have submitted bids to broker Bulgaria's 33% stake sale in Prague-based CEZ AS unit, while seven – the same government's share in Austria's EVN AG, the country's sale body said.

First Financial Brokerage House, Bulbrokers, United Bulgarian Bank (a unit of the National Bank of Greece SA, Greece's biggest lender), Central Cooperative Bank and Capman have submitted bids for CEZ AS units before the June 16 deadline, the Privatization Agency announced on Thursday.

These five, plus another two - South Market and Elana Trading - have submitted bids for Austria's EVN AG units.

Bulgaria plans to sell the minority stake in the EVN and CEZ-operated electricity distributor on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. Each of the units includes two companies in charge of sales and grid operation.

Earlier this month it was announced that First Financial Brokerage House has been picked to broker the sale of the government's stake in E.ON Bulgaria units.

At the end of last year Bulgaria's government announced it will list in two or three months its 33% minority stake in the three power distributors in the country in a bid to enliven the local stock exchange and boost revenues.

Bulgaria, struggling to cover its widest budget deficit in a decade, plans to sell minority stakes in other energy utilities as well.

In 2004, the Balkan country sold 67% in its three power distributors to Germany's E.ON, Austria's EVN and Czech CEZ.

E.ON serves households in North-Eastern Bulgaria, including the Black Sea city of Varna. Czech power utility CEZ supplies power to over 2 million households and companies in western Bulgaria, while EVN serves the south-eastern parts of the country.

Heavily criticized for its failure to rake in revenues into the budget by privatization, Bulgaria's government is expected this year to finally go ahead with the planned sale of minority stakes in the electricity distributors.

In 2011 Bulgaria's government should finally make its mind about how to restructure the energy holding, which groups the country's top energy assets, analysts have said.

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Tags: United, Bulbrokers, Capman, Central Cooperative bank, Elana Trading, South Market, First Financial Brokerage House, Bulgarian, United Bulgarian Bank, E.ON, CEZ, EVN, Bulgaria, sofia, stock exchange, UniCredit SpA, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, bank


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