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Czech CEZ to keep assets in Bulgaria if sale gets blocked again

Author Mario Tanev
Czech CEZ to keep assets in Bulgaria if sale gets blocked again CEZ

SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 7 (SeeNews) - Czech energy group CEZ has decided not to proceed with the divestment of its assets in Bulgaria if the Bulgarian regulatory bodies block the sale for a second time, a spokesperson for the company told SeeNews on Monday.

"If the Bulgarian authorities unjustifiably block also our second attempt to sell our Bulgarian assets, then logically we will not continue with the sale and spend further costs on the process," a CEZ spokesperson quoted a member of the company's board as saying in an e-mailed statement.

"In that case, we will keep the assets and continue operating them with due care as we have done so far. The issue of selling our Bulgarian assets would certainly not be addressed in the near future then," the CEZ board member has also said.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition opened proceedings regarding CEZ's 335 million euro ($367 million) deal to sell its Bulgarian assets to financial and insurance group Eurohold Bulgaria's [BUL:4EH]. The contract was signed after CEZ's initial deal with Sofia-based power company Inercom failed to obtain the approval of the anti-trust authority.

CEZ's assets in Bulgaria comprise power utility CEZ Distribution Bulgaria [BUL:3CZ], power supplier CEZ Electro Bulgaria [BUL:1CZ], licensed electricity trader CEZ Trade Bulgaria, IT services company CEZ ICT Bulgaria, solar park Free Energy Project Oreshetz, biomass-fired power plant Bara Group and CEZ Bulgaria.

Eurohold Bulgaria's portfolio currently includes companies active in financial services, leasing, insurance and car sales.

As at 12:20 CET on Monday, Eurohold Bulgaria's shares traded 4.44% higher at 1.88 levs on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. CEZ Distribution Bulgaria and CEZ Electro Bulgaria had not traded by that hour.

($ = 0.9119 euro)