Bulgaria Raises BGN 82 M on First Day of CEZ Share Sales
Bulgaria has sold the bulk of its 33% stakes in two newly listed local power distribution companies controlled by Czech power firm CEZ, raising BGN 82.51 M, data from the stock exchange showed on Monday.
Bulgaria sought to rake in at least BGN 104.3 M from the sale of the government's minority stake in CEZ local power distribution units.
It offered 63 624 shares in power distributing unit CEZ Distribution Bulgaria and 1650 shares in grid operating unit CEZ Electro Bulgaria.
The minimum price per share was set at BGN 1415 and BGN 8660 respectively.
On Monday the Balkan country sold 76% of the shares which it held in CEZ Distribution Bulgaria and 34% of the shares in CEZ Electro Bulgaria.
The average price paid for CEZ Distribution Bulgaria was BGN 1605.85, up 12.9% on the minimum offer price, while CEZ Electro Bulgaria was sold at BGN 9485.37, which is 9.1% above the minimum, bourse data showed.
The remaining shares still held by the state will be offered for sale on Tuesday, with the offer running until November 29.
Bulgaria has already sold its minority stakes in power distributors controlled by Czech Energo-Pro and Austrian EVN for BGN 67.6 M and BGN 93 M respectively.
Both companies acquired the bulk of the capital of its two units in Bulgaria right after the trade with their shares started on the local stock exchange, boosting their 67% stakes held before the launch of the sale.
The sale of the two power distribution companies controlled by Czech electricity producer CEZ will bring to an end Bulgaria's privatization of its 33% minority stakes in all three power distributors.
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 served 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.
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 2012.
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