CEZ hopes to meet EU concerns with Detmarovice sale-paper
PRAGUE, Sept 27 |
PRAGUE, Sept 27 (Reuters) - CEZ hopes to meet EU regulatory requirements by selling just one power plant, the hard-coal burning Detmarovice station, daily Lidove Noviny quoted an unnamed source from the company's top management as saying on Thursday.
The Czech power group, central Europe's largest listed company with a market capitalisation of $20 billion, has been offering Detmarovice for sale along with four other plants to end an investigation into suspected anti-competitive behaviour by the European Commission.
CEZ proposed to the Commission that it would sell one or two of the coal-fired stations, depending on price. The Commission had said that the sale proposal appeared to address its concerns, but it would seek views from rivals and customers before making a final decision.
Earlier this month Czech newspaper Hospodarske Noviny reported the majority state-owned power utility may be forced to sell more power plants to appease the Commission's concerns.
But Lidove Noviny said CEZ top management had signals from the European Commission that it would be enough to sell only one plant and it would most likely opt for the 800-megawatt Detmarovice because it received the best offers for it.
CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz declined to confirm that Detmarovice was the one to be sold because the deadline for bids was Oct. 5.
Asked if CEZ would have to sell only one plant to meet EU demands, Kriz said: "It is part of our proposal that we would sell only one of the plants, which was consulted with the European Commission. I do not have any signals that it would not be accepted."
Detmarovice is the most popular of the offered plants, according to media reports, attracting bidders including Veolia Environment's Dalkia unit and financial investors including Morgan Stanley. (Reporting by Jana Mlcochova; Editing by David Holmes)
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