Enel aims to raise $6bn through Eastern European asset sale

Italy’s largest utility is looking to offload assets in Slovakia and Romania in an attempt to strengthen its balancing sheet.

Enel SpA aims to raise around $6bn from the sale of Slovakia’s largest utility, Slovenske Elektrarne AS.

The firm also wishes to sell its interests in Romania, where it holds power distribution and retail assets, according to a statementà‚ issuedà‚ yesterday.

The company, headed by Francesco Starace, began the process of reducing its debt in 2013 in an endeavour to respond to the challenges posed by Italy’s depressed economy.
“In the last few days, Enel has formally notified the subsidiaries in both Slovakia and Romania, as well as their minority shareholders, of the start of the sale process and has appointed financial advisers,” Enel said in its statement.

Enel is being advised by BNP Paribas SA (BNP) and Deutsche Bank AG in Slovakia, and Citigroup Inc (C) and UniCredit SpA (UCG) in Romania.

Daniel Benes, CEO of the Czech Republic’s largest utility, CEZ AS, said in April that he would be open to bidding for Enel’s stake in Slovenske if it came up for sale.

“The biggest failure in CEZ’s history was that we didn’t buy Slovenske Elektrarne,” Benes said in an interview. “So if that asset is up for sale, we will gladly enter into negotiations about it.”

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