Bulgaria Expects Offers for EUR 650 M Loan to Energy Holding Co. in 2-3 Weeks
The Bulgarian Energy Holding company has invited potential lenders to extend a loan of up to EUR 650 M, BNR radio broadcaster reported on Monday.
Deputy Energy Minster Zhecho Stankov told reporters on the sidelines of a gas conference in Sofia that invitations had been sent to 25 international financial institutions and loan offers were expected to be submitted within two or three weeks, according to BNR.
Stankov, who is also BEH board member, said he hoped that the state-owned company will be able to secure the loan financing by the end of the year.
BEH needs the money to enable its heavily indebted subsidiary National Electricity Company (NEK) to repay debt owed to the Bulgarian units of U.S.-based AES Corp. and ContourGlobal.
Deputy Energy Minister Nikolai Nikolov told an energy forum in Sofia last week that BEH had decided to launch direct talks with banks over borrowing EUR 650 M after a tender to raise the funds collapsed.
Bulgaria cancelled the tender procedure because both candidates, who submitted binding bids to arrange a bond issue and provide bridge financing ahead of it, had asked the government to extend state guarantees on the debt – a request denied by Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov in view of NEK's financial deficits.
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