EVN Snaps Up Bulgaria Units on Bourse, Govt under Fire
Austria's EVN AG have acquired more than 97% in the capital of its two units in Bulgaria right after the trade with their shares started on the local stock exchange. The company is expected to increase even further its stake.
The majority owner bought out nearly all shares right away because the terms of the tender allowed that they all are offered for trade on the very first day - December 21, analysts have explained.
Such a development is highly likely to lead to the delisting of the two companies, which make up the power utility Bulgarian unit, more successful and with higher profits than any of the other electricity distribution companies in the country.
Experts have repeatedly called on the government to launch high-quality initial public offerings to bring back to life the capital market, dented by low liquidity and lack of quality stock, as well as to boost revenues.
That's why the sale of the minority stakes in the electricity distributors on the stock exchange was a must-do task for 2011.
The looming delisting of EVN Bulgaria unit however has triggered speculations that the bourse was just used as a tool by the government to sell its minority stake to the majority owner at a much lower price.
Bulgaria sold almost all of its 33% stakes in Austria's EVN unit in the country right after the trade with its shares on the local stock exchange started on December 21.
A total of 112,795 shares in the two companies - Electrosnabdiavane and Electrorazpredelenie - were sold, raising BGN 92.97 M, well above the government's target of BGN 78.4 M.
Bulgaria offered 62 106 shares in Electrosnabdiavane and 51 612 shares in Electrorazpredelenie at a minimum price per share of BGN 120.31 and BGN 1,373.92 respectively.
The average price achieved during the trade for the shares from the two companies was BGN 156.60 and BGN 1632.56 per share respectively, data showed.
The remaining 923 shares were offered for sale Thursday.
Bulbrokers, a local financial and investment company, was picked in the middle of June to broker Bulgaria's 33% stake sale in Austria's EVN AG unit.
In 2004, the Balkan country sold 67% in its three power distributors to Germany's E.ON, Austria's EVN and Czech CEZ.
E.ON serves households in North-Eastern Bulgaria, including the Black Sea city of Varna. Czech power utility CEZ supplies power to over 2 million households and companies in western Bulgaria, while EVN serves the south-eastern parts of the country.
At the beginning of December German electric energy company E.ON struck a deal to sell its Bulgarian unit E.ON Bulgaria to private Czech company Energo Pro.
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