An unspecified company has joined the privatization process for the dominant Slovak power producer, Slovenske elektrarne (SE), and is reportedly interested in all SE's assets (i.e. including its nuclear assets), the Czech Press Agency reported yesterday. The agency speculates that the Italian Enel might be the bidder. So far only CEZ and the Russian RAO UES have clearly expressed an interest in SE as a whole (other bidders are reportedly E.ON of Germany and Verbund of Austria); the pricing competition in the tender may now increase. As CEZ is not expected to bid aggressively for the highly levered SE, the likelihood of winning the tender for a favorable price has been declining. The deadline for binding bids is end-June.
Separately, the Bulgarian Cabinet postponed the deadline for submitting binding bids for the seven electricity distributors to June 25 from May. Recall that CEZ has submitted indicative bids for all three groups although it can win only one tender. Neutral.
Also separately, CEZ CEO M. Roman in an interview for the local HN daily reiterated that besides privatizations in Bulgaria and Slovakia, CEZ is seriously interested in possible acquisitions in Poland. Neutral.
Jan Hájek, Patria Finance