Energo Pro Needs License to Start Power Supply Business in Bulgaria
Energo Pro, the new owner of energy distribution grid in Northeast Bulgaria, will have to undergo a licensing procedure by the local energy watchdog before it it takes over the business of German E.ON, said Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.
On Saturday, German power utility E.ON announced that it was selling its Bulgarian unit to Czech company Energy Pro in a deal worth EUR 133 M.
Power distributor E.ON Bulgaria supplies electricity to the central northern and north-eastern parts of Bulgaria
"Even if only the company name changes, the license must also be changed. I am convinced that the colleagues at the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) will do their job as usual. If the firm does not get a license, the deal cannot be sealed," Traikov said in an interview on Monday.
He explained that he had had information about the deal between E.ON and Energo Pro but he had not been officially notified about the plans of the German company to sell its business in Bulgaria.
Traikov suggested that legal amendments had to be considered involving the introduction of a mandatory approval by the Economy Minister for transactions between private companies affecting key state assets.
In a Monday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), DKEVR Chair Angel Semerdzhiev admitted that he had not been informed of the deal but insisted that it was common practice for such agreements to be kept secret until the last moment.
Traikov consulted Vera Kobalia, Georgia's Economy Minister, who was on a visit to Bulgaria on Monday, about how Energo Pro was doing with the management of the power distribution grid in her country.
"She said that the company had a good reputation and that it was fulfilling its duties. I expect the same to happen in Bulgaria," Traikov told journalists.
He commented that EUR 133 M was a rather low price for E.ON's Bulgarian business but added that the value was determined by the opportunities on the market, the global financial crisis and the regulatory environment in Bulgaria.
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