CEZ Sells Bulgarian Assets to Eurohold Group

The Bulgarian Eurohold business group will take over CEZ Group's entire assets in Bulgaria, the two companies announced on Thursday.

The largest publicly listed Bulgarian holding company will pay 335 million euros for the Bulgarian assets of the Czech utility operator.

The price is 15 million euros higher than the previous bid made by a small local firm, Inercom, in February 2018.

CEZ Group's holdings in Bulgaria include a power utility company, a power supplier, a licensed electricity trader, a solar park and a biomass-fired power plant.

The purchase will be financed through a combination of equity and debt financing from Eurohold's own assets and two unnamed international investment banks.

As of 2018, Eurohold's consolidated revenues amounted to 650 million euros with an operating profit of 26 million euros.

The company and its subsidiaries are active in insurance, leasing, car sales, asset management and investment services in ten European countries

Before the deal is finalised, it must obtain the approval of the Bulgarian Competition Protection Committee, CPC, and the Energy and Water Regulation Commission, KEVR, - the state regulator that licenses companies that produce, distribute and trade electricity and water and controls pricing mechanisms.

The CPC blocked the previous attempt of CEZ to sell its Bulgarian assets to the family-owned Inercom business of Ginka Varbakova, a little known player in the energy market, which had close ties to Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova.

In a controversial decision in July 2018, the CPC prohibited that deal on the grounds that it would have resulted in an unhealthy "concentration" of ownership that could harm the energy utilities market.

The company, registered...

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