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Power Firm CEZ Confirms Interest in Two Romanian Power Distributors

The Czech power giant CEZ is looking to acquire two of Romania’s main distribution companies, Electrica Moldova and Electrica Oltenia, CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz told Interfax Friday.

“CEZ has sent ‘confidentiality letters’ to the Romanian government,” says Kriz, therefore meeting the criteria for the first stage of the tender, which will give CEZ access to financial information on the firms.

The Romanian government is selling 24.6% stakes in the two distributors, with the winner required to raise its stake to 51% through a share capital hike. Each of the two firms has over 1.3 mln clients and capital of over USD 120 mln.

Other investors reportedly interested in the privatization include AES Corp., E.ON, Union Fenosa International and Public Power Corporation.

CEZ is currently focused on privatization deals in Slovakia and Bulgaria. Earlier this month, the firm said it was also “monitoring” the situation in Poland, Moldova, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Ukraine.

CEZ is 67.6% owned by the Czech state. Last year, the firm merged with the country's eight regional power distributors, creating a giant with a 70% share of the Czech electricity supply market.

(Interfax 02.vii.04)

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