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Dec 04, 2017 14:17 EEST
December 4 (SeeNews) - Czech energy conglomerate CEZ told SeeNews on Monday it hopes to come up with a decision regarding the planned sale of its assets in Bulgaria by the end of the year.
"We would like to make the decision about whether to sell or not by the end of this year," CEZ press officer Alice Horakova told SeeNews in an e-mailed statement.
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Asked to comment on recent media reports suggesting Bulgarian company Future Energy, which is said to be among the candidates to buy CEZ assets, was faced with financial difficulties, Horakova said: "The process of negotiations regarding our asset sales continues without deterrence."
Bulgaria's Electricity System Operator (ESO) has suspended Sofia-based electricity trader Future Energy from its list of standard balancing group coordinators on the country's electricity market as of December 2, according to data posted on the website of ESO.
Bulgarian business news daily Capital reported over the weekend that according to Bulgarian electricity market participants, several key suppliers have terminated their contracts with Future Energy, as large disbalances have been accumulated in its balancing group.
Future Energy, in cooperation with Indian company India Power, is said to be vying for the purchase of CEZ assets in Bulgaria, according to media reports.
Czech business news daily Hospodarske Noviny reported last month that CEZ was close to completing the sale of its assets in Bulgaria to Future Energy. A spokesperson for CEZ, however, said at the time that the group was still in talks with more parties on the planned sale but disclosed no names.
Also in November, the CEZ Group said it agreed to sell its Varna thermal power plant (TPP), part of its assets in Bulgaria, to local company SIGDA. The final purchase price will be determined as of closing of the transaction based on the level of working capital, CEZ said at the time.
In January, the Czech group announced it had decided to study the options related to its equity investments in Bulgaria, based on the interest of several unnamed investors.
The assets of the CEZ Group in Bulgaria comprise CEZ Distribution Bulgaria, the public supplier of electricity and a licensed trader CEZ Electro Bulgaria, licensed electricity trader CEZ Trade Bulgaria and Varna TPP. The operations of those companies are managed and coordinated by CEZ Bulgaria.
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