Media: Italian Enel to sell its electricity distribution assets in Romania by June
Italian energy group Enel hasn’t given up on its plans to sell assets in Romania and Slovakia and estimates that the transactions will be closed in the first half of this year, according to Financial Times.
“We do have offers. We know more or less what the issues are and we know that this process can be closed sometime between now and next June,” said Francesco Starace, Enel’s CEO, in an interview with the financial newspaper.
He added that the assets in Romania and Slovakia will be sold in 2015 and will help the group reduce its debt.
Enel announced in July last year that it will sell its electricity distribution assets in Romania. The deadline for the sale was December 2014, but the transaction was delayed. There were even rumours that Enel might give up the asset sale.
Enel holds three electricity distribution companies in Romania, which cover about a third of the market. These companies power Romania’s capital Bucharest and the surrounding counties, as well as the Dobrogea and Banat regions of Romania. Enel also owns the companies which supply electricity to these regions.
In 2013, those companies had consolidated revenues of EUR 1.12 billion and operational profit (EBITDA) of EUR 289 million.
The sale of these assets is not simple, as the Romanian state is a minority shareholder in these companies. The state filed a case against Enel in the Paris Arbitration Court, asking the Italian group to pay EUR 521 million for the remaining 23.6% stake owned by the state in the former Electrica Muntenia Sud (now dividend in Enel Distributie Muntenia and Enel Energie Muntenia).
The state is also interested in taking over some of Enel’s companies, via electricity producer Nuclearelectrica and electricity distributor Electrica. A Chinese group was said to be interested in buying all of Enel’s assets in Romania. Enel's competitors in Romania, E.On and GDF Suez were also rumoured to be in these negotiations. Even RCS&RDS, the largest independent telecom operator in Romania, was said to be interested in one of Enel’s distribution companies.
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