Fico Holds Foreign Shareholder in SPP To Ransom
Prime Minister Robert Fico has put his foot down on the principal gas company SPP over another proposal for a price hike for households, ransoming the minority shareholder to withdraw its proposals.
At a press briefing today, Fico told the media that “the Government of the Slovak Republic sees absolutely no reason for the German and French minority shareholder of Slovensky plynárensky priemysel (SPP), a.s. to propose an increase in gas prices for households in 2013 by an average of 18.56 %, or even by as much as 25.43 %.”
Fico then demanded that the foreign shareholders of the gas company present him with a written confirmation that they have withdrawn price hike proposals from the General Meeting agenda by 10 am tomorrow morning, or he would freeze the state’s consent to the transfer of their share to Czech company Energeticky a prumyselny Holding (EPH).
His ransom technique will most likely work because the two investors GDF Suez and E.ON Ruhrgas are now keen to sell off their company Slovak Gas Holding B.V., through which they hold a 49% stake and managerial control in SPP.