Minimum 51% stakes to be offered in heating companies

Finance minister Ivan Miklos (c) The Daily

At a press briefing today, finance minister Ivan Miklos announced the news that the government had decided to go ahead with the sale of at least 51% stakes in the six main heating companies in the country.

The government therefore accepted the recommendations of privatisation agency FNM and the minister himself that it made more sense to sell the companies than to keep operating them as state enterprises. Miklos informed that the instruction had now been given to the FNM to work out the details of the privatisation in co-operation with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance.

“The companies will be privatised through tenders and we will be looking for strategic investors. So far we haven’t come to an agreement on what share will be sold, but it will be at least 51%” Miklos informed today.

The heating companies have not been lucrative for the state really and so their sale works out a better alternative also from a financial perspective than the receipt of annual dividends. An analysis prepared by the FNM and the Ministry of Finance puts the market value of the heating companies at up to EUR 200 million, while average dividends from all the heating companies in the past eight years came to EUR 4.2 million.

Some companies have already expressed an interest in the sale, so they will be watching eagerly to see if they can snap up one of the companies operating in a highly lucrative and stable field of business.

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