Energy minister: Romanian companies interested in buying some Enel assets

Some Romanian companies are interested in buying some parts of Italian group Enel’s business in Romania, said energy minister Razvan Nicolescu in a meeting with Enel representatives.

Nicolescu met on Thursday with Luca D’Agnese, member of the Enel board responsible for international operations to talk about Enel’s intentions related to the group’s operations in Romania. D’Agnese also served as CEO of Enel’s operations in Romania from March 2011 until March 2014.

Enel announced in July that it will sell its electricity distribution and supply businesses in Romania, which cover three of the countries regions and generate an annual consolidated turnover of more than EUR 1.1 billion. Earlier this week, the group’s CEO said that a buyer for these operations will be found by the end of this year.

Romanian state owned electricity distributor Electrica, which was recently listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange after raising EUR 444 million in an initial public offering (IPO) is interested in buying some of Enel’s assets, according to sources in the energy market. This was confirmed by the energy minister in his meeting with Enel’s delegation.

“We officially informed them (Enel – e.n.) that some Romanian companies are interested in taking over parts of their operations in Romania, and that the state fully supports companies with Romanian shareholders,” Nicolescu said. He added that this was the main reason why the state changed the law on privatizations which didn’t allow state owned companies to buy other companies.

Electricity distribution networks are considered strategic assets by the state, Nicolescu also told Enel. He also asked Enel representatives to clarify the situation of dividend payments. Enel holds majority stakes in three electricity distribution companies in Romania: Enel Distributie Muntenia, Enel Distributie Dobrogea and Enel Distributie Banat. The Romanian state is minority shareholder in these companies and so is Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea.

These companies manage a power grid of about 91,000 kilometers in the regions where they operate, distributing about 14 TWh of electricity a year (with a domestic market share of 34 percent) and selling nearly 9 TWh a year to about 2.6 million customers, of which 2.4 million are residential customers (with a domestic market share of 20 percent) and 0.2 million are businesses (with a domestic market share of 38 percent). In 2013, those companies had consolidated revenues of EUR 1.12 billion and operational profit (EBITDA) of EUR 289 million.

Citigroup and UniCredit intermediate the sale of the Romanian assets for Enel.

Andrei Chirileasa, [email protected]

Romania Insider
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