Deadline set to register for minority stake in Slovenske Elekrarne

8 August 2002 – Slovakia has given interested bidders until August 12 to register their interest in Slovenske Elektrarne AS, the country’s monopoly power utility, reported Bloomberg.

The Slovak government is offering a minority stake and management control in the company. Potential buyers can purchase a stake between 46.14 per cent and 49 per cent of SE in a tender. Non-binding bids will have to submitted by the end of September, said the government in an advertisement to attract investors.

Slovakia previously sold off 49 per cent stakes in its three main power companies — Zapodoslovenska Energetika (ZSE), Vychodoslovenska Energetika (VSE) and Stredoslovenska Energetika (SSE). Germany’s E.ON and RWE along with Electricite de France (EdF) won tenders for the stock.

The privatization of the regional electricity distributors was widely seen as a prelude to the sale of SE, which was expected to be announced from September onwards, after the general elections. SE in fact also submitted a bid for SSE and VSE but was unsuccessful in both instances.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountancy firm will advise the sale.
The sell-offs are part of a wider government move to liberalize the market, which is expected to be set in motion in 2004. The situation would then be that corporate customers could choose their own electricity supplier. The downside of the privatization is that nearly 3000 staff are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the restructuring.

SE’s installed capacity is more than 1800 MW, including coal-fired and gas-fired thermal power stations and all hydro stations on the Drava, Soca and Sava Rivers. SE’s total 2002 debt so far stands at 13bn koruna ($284m).

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