The race for six heating companies has started

Economy minister Juraj Miškov prefers the sale of 100% stakes in the six largest heating companies. “There is interest from French companies Veolia, Dalkia, Cofely, and German E.ON, with interest also shown by Italian investors, and I expect also domestic companies to enter play” said minister Miškov in an interview for Reuters..

Interest in privatisation of the heating companies in Bratislava, Trnava, Žilina, Martin, Zvolen and in Košice was confirmed for SITA by the French company mentioned by the economy minister, the company Dalkia. “As it concerns the kind of heating plants that Dalkia has tens of in its portfolio, our company will enter into negotiations on the terms of the sale”, said Petra Habáňová from the Communications Division. Dalkia was interested in the privatisation of the heating companies already five years ago when the government of Mikuláš Dzurinda wanted to sell them off. At that time it was interested in all the heating plants. “As the economic situation in heating companies has changed in the past five years, we cannot specify which heating companies will be interesting for our company until detailed studies and audits are made,“ added Habáňová, while pointing out that the company wanted majority stakes.

Investment groups will also probably participate in the privatisation of the six largest heating companies. Five years ago Slavia Capital was interested in acquiring four plants, but it did not specify which ones at the time. Slavia Capital spokesman Peter Benčurik did not rule out interest in the companies also this time round. “We still don’t know the conditions or the level of shares, though, and in any case the financial situation of the companies will be key for our decision-making, and that is only possibly by an audit. Then we will decide”, said Benčurik.

“Yes, our company is considering taking part in possible tenders. We will be able to make a specific decision once the tender specifications are published”, said spokesman for private equity group of Penta, Martin Danko. Five years ago Penta expressed an interest in the sale of all heating companies on sale.

Participation in the privatisation of the heating companies will probably include once again the German company MVV Energie, by way of its 100% Czech subsidiary MVV Energie CZ. “We plan to look into the subject of the privatisation and then we will decide to enter a tender or not. Submitting a tender is likely”, SITA was told by chairman of the Board of Directors of MVV Energie CZ, Václav Harach. Five years ago the company was bidding for all the heating plants. “Since then the economics of the companies has definitely changed, so until a detailed analysis is made we cannot say what the most suitable targets are“ said Harch on the company’s interest in the new tender, but only when acquiring a majority stake.

The company Energetický a průmyslový holding, of which J&T is a shareholder, has not confirmed or ruled out its participation in the privatisation. “Our long-term communication standard is not to comment on our acquisitions and business objectives”, said head of communications at EPH, Martin Maňák.

There are also companies that will probably not take part in the privatisation of the heating companies, though, even though they were interested in the tender from five years ago. They include the likes of Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, a.s. (SPP), and also Czech energy group ČEZ. At that time SPP was interested in the sale of all six heating companies by Dzurinda’s government, while the Czech energy giant wanted only Tepláreň Košice. “SPP is currently monitoring the situation. So far we do not have any detailed information about the conditions under which the privatisation will be launched. SPP has very bad experience with regulated companies and so as long as the generation of heat is a regulated segment it is highly unlikely that SPP will consider this possibility,” SITA was told by SPP spokesman Ondrej Šebesta. “We do not expect to express an interest in these assets“ said spokesman for ČEZ Ladislav Kříž about the company’s current stance. Translation from SITA source

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