25 April 2002 – Control of Slovakia’s second-largest power distribution company was awarded to Electricité de France (EdF) yesterday by a government committee, the privatization ministry said.

EdF had been favourite to win the 49 per cent stake and management control of central Slovakia’s Stredoslovenska Energetika (SSE) and beat of its only competitor Italian energy trader E-NOI.

SSE was the last of three power distribution companies being sold in an identical fashion and in each case no sale price for the 49 per cent shareholding has been released.

A source close to the deal is reported by Reuters as saying the bid totalled around €170m ($151m).

Last week two other committees chose Germany’s two largest power firms, E.ON and RWE Plus, to take over Slovakia’s other two electricity distributors, ZSE and VSE. The three choices are awaiting government approval.

Slovakia has, up to now, lagged behind its neighbours in privatising its power industry, which began a phased opening up to competition in January as the country prepares to join the European Union. A pilot privatisation of the PPC combined-cycle power plant in Bratislava failed recently after negotiations with AES of the US broke down.

The privatization of the country’s dominant power generation company Slovenske Elektrarne is not now expected to take place until after elections in September after a series of delays.