E.ON signs deal for Bulgarian power distributors

Oct 29, 2004 02:00 AM

German group E.ON -- owner of Nottingham-based energy group PowerGen -- has taken 67 % stakes in two Bulgarian energy distributors in a deal worth EUR 140.7 mm (pounds 98.3 mm), government and company officials said.
E.ON, which won a tender to buy the firms in July and closed negotiations on the deal in September, paid 20 % of the price of the firms after signing the sale contract with Bulgaria's privatisation agency in Sofia.

The shares and the remainder of the money will change hands following approval by Bulgaria's antimonopoly regulator, expected by the end of the year.
The deal is key to Bulgaria's efforts to liberalise its energy sector as it gears up to join the EU and its common market in 2007, and to earn badly needed foreign funds to counter its ballooning current account deficit.

For E.ON, it represents a further push into former communist Europe, adding to holdings in Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.
“E.ON is continuing its strategy for selected expansion by stepping into the Bulgarian electricity market. We can expand our presence in south-eastern Europe,” the company said. The Bulgarian government is also selling its five remaining utilities in two other packages to Austria's EVN and Czech CEZ.

Source: Birmingham Post
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