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By Luiza Ilie
BUCHAREST May 28 Romanian state-owned hydro
power producer Hidroelectrica will likely exit insolvency in May
or June 2015, then carry out a stock market listing in the
second half of that year, its manager Remus Borza told Reuters
Borza's comments are the first time the company has given
those dates and are later than a "best case" estimate made last
month by a minority shareholder in the company.
They also differ from a projection by the energy minister in
April, that the firm could exit insolvency as early as November
this year, according to local media.
Romania's largest power producer was first forced into
insolvency in 2012 by a severe drought and a string of
loss-making contracts, under which it sold the bulk of its
output below market prices, causing losses of $1.4 billion over
The company underwent a restructuring, cancelled the deals
and exited insolvency late last year while turning a profit. But
contract holders challenged their cancellation and a court
ruling pushed the firm back into insolvency earlier this year.
Before it exits that status again, it needs to address the
cancelled contracts and figure out what penalties it will incur.
The latest court ruling dashed plans to launch a stock
market flotation of 15 percent by July of this year, a plan the
leftist government had agreed with the International Monetary
Fund under a 4 billion euro aid deal.
"The company will exit insolvency this time next year, in
May-June," court-appointed manager Borza said by phone. "The
listing looks likely somewhere in the second half."
Gabriel Dumitrascu, head of the energy ministry's
privatisation department, told Reuters he did not anticipate a
shorter deadline for the firm to exit insolvency.
In April, Borza had estimated the planned dual listing on
the Bucharest and London stock exchanges could raise between 300
million euros ($408.4 million) and 500 million through the sale
of the 15 percent stake.
Last month, investment fund Fondul Proprietatea,
holder of a 20 percent stake in Hidroelectrica which it values
at 473 million euros, estimated the best case scenario to exit
insolvency would be the end of this year.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Editing by Matthias Williams and David Holmes)