According to news portal Hotnews.ro, CEZ could be interested in acquiring an energy distributor from the Romanian state. Three electricity distributors are still state-owned in Romania: Electrica Muntenia Nord, Electrica Transilvania Nord and Electrica Transilvania Sud. Electricity supplier Electrica Furnizare is also state-owned. Fondul Proprietatea owns 22% in each company. The news portal quotes Mr Jan Veskrna, the president of the directorate of CEZ Romania, as saying the best fit for CEZ would be Electrica Muntenia Nord.
According to the agreement with the IMF, Romania must privatize all three distributors and the supply company by the end of 1H13. Mr Veskrna stated that CEZ’s decision depends very much on the strategy of the state, which has not yet presented any steps towards the privatization of any of the companies.
According to a report at the end of 1Q12, the value of Fondul Proprietatea’s stake in Electrica Distributie Muntenia Nord stands at RON 238.1m, the value of the stake in Electrica Transilvania Nord stands at RON 170.8m, and the value of the stake in Electrica Distributie Transilvania Sud stands at RON 183.5m. Electrica Furnizare is valued at nil because it has only just been formed following the unbundling process.
The valuation is based on the latest book value. In 2009, CEZ bought a minority stake in CEZ Oltenia from Fondul Proprietatea for € 230m, at a P/Bk of 2.3x. The eventual sale of one of the stakes together with the recent RON 130m from the completed Azomures exit should provide the cash necessary for the buy-back of 8% of its own shares. We would view an eventual sale as positive but until a more concrete strategy is presented by the state we view the news as neutral.