Romania’s electricity supplier and distributor Electrica has filed a bid to take over the shares held by the CEZ company in Bulgaria, Romania’s Energy Minister Toma Petcu told online publication DC News in an interview on Tuesday.
“Electrica has filed a bid to take over the shares CEZ holds in Bulgaria. It is about the company that provides electricity to Sofia and the environs; we have three million customers and quite a big portfolio there. Electrica has filed a bid to this end and we would very much like to manage to buy this share package and become regional players. It is very important for these companies with potential to become regional player, and Romania has that ability,” said Petcu.
Asked about the matter by Agerpres, Electrica officials declined to comment.
The Energy Ministry is holding a 48.7-percent stake in Electrica, with the remaining shares being traded on the exchange.
On January 31, Bulgaria’s Novinite news agency reported that Czech-based holding CEZ said late in January it considered withdrawing from the Bulgarian market, adding that Companies from France, Turkey and Romania have already shown interest in a possible deal.
CEZ holds the biggest power supply business in Bulgaria (providing electricity to more than 3 million customers), with revenues to the tune of 1.4 Bulgarian levas, the biggest electricity distribution company, several hydropower plants, and a now defunct thermal power plant.
Constantly changing regulations in the energy sector and low profit would be the more likely reasons for CEZ’s intention, rather than “interest shown from investors” as the company has suggested.
Having entered Bulgaria in 2004, CEZ went through tumultuous years in its relationship with the Bulgarian regulator, KEVR, and the national electricity utility company NEK, according to Novinite.
CEZ entered Romania in 2005, when it took over former Oltenia distribution and supply branch of Electrica.