Poland's richest man creates top Polish private utility

WARSAW, July 21 Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:08am EDT

WARSAW, July 21 (Reuters) - Poland's richest man Jan Kulczyk will combine his Polish energy assets under PEP to forge the country's largest private utility, the group said.

Kulczyk will raise his holding in PEP and a China-backed fund will take a minority stake.

PEP will change its name to Polenergia and expand its renewable energy production with energy produced from coal. It will also add a gas-fired unit producing electricity and heat, and gas and electricity distribution.

Kulczyk will add his other energy assets to PEP in return for shares, raising his stake from to around 65 percent of the enlarged Polenergia group from 60 percent.

CEE Equity Partners agreed to buy a 16-percent stake for 240 million zlotys ($78.3 million) in its first transaction.

Set up this year, the fund is an adviser to Export-Import Bank of China's China-CEE Fund.

The two transactions value PEP's shares at 33.03 zlotys each, or a third higher than their Friday market close. The price pegs the future Polenergia's market cap at 1.5 billion zlotys, or three times the market value of PEP.

The group plans another share issue around the end of 2014 to finance its wind farm projects and a planned gas link between Poland and Germany. Polenergia will pay dividends from 2017.

The plans will be voted on at PEP's upcoming shareholder meeting planned for August 18.

($1 = 3.0653 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; editing by Jason Neely)

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