Alpiq asks bidders for Czech plants to improve offers-report

PRAGUE, April 15 Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:36am EDT

PRAGUE, April 15 (Reuters) - Swiss company Alpiq has asked for improved offers for two Czech power plants after bids were well below its expectations, Czech newspaper Hospodarske Noviny reported on Monday.

The newspaper cited a partner in one bidding group, Petr Paukner, as saying that bids for the two plants together came in well below 400 million euros ($523.90 million).

Paukner is owner of Czech energy trader Carbounion Bohemia, which is bidding for the Alpiq plants with two other companies. He was not available to comment.

Alpiq declined to comment on the newspaper's report. Hospodarske Noviny said three bidders remained and had to submit improved offers by Wednesday.

The three bidders are the PURS group, consisting of Czech companies Carbounion, E-Invest and Sokolovska Uhelna; Czech energy holding EPH; and investment group Carpaterra Capital Partners.

EPH declined to comment on the report, while Carpaterra could not be reached.

Alpiq's two Czech plants up for sale have electricity capacity of 529 MW and heating capacity of 1,072 MW.

($1 = 0.7635 euros) (Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jan Korselt; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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