PRAGUE, July 23 (Reuters) - Slovak police searched offices of the country’s main electricity producer Slovenske Elektrarne, majority owned by Italy’s Enel, to collect documents in an investigation into what police said was a serious mismanagement of assets.
Police and other officials did not say whether any charges had been brought in the case, or if it involved any company representatives.
Slovenske Elektrarne said it was cooperating with police.
Some of the documents sought may be related to the firm’s privatisation by a centre-right government nearly a decade ago, said a spokeswoman for the economy ministry, which oversees the government’s minority stake in the firm.
Slovakia’s government is currently headed by leftist prime minister Robert Fico, who has been critical of the handling of the privatisation.
“The Ministry of Economy ... was informed by the Presidium of the Police Force of the Slovak Republic about police action executed today, during which certain documents of the company Slovenske Elektrarne were seized,” spokeswoman Miriam Ziakova said in an emailed statement.
She added “some documents may be from the period of privatisation.”
The police said the documents were connected to a criminal investigation but declined to provide more details.
“At this moment, we can only confirm that since June 30 of this year the police have carried out an investigation into an especially serious crime of violating obligations in managing third-party assets and a crime of misrepresenting financial and commercial records,” police spokesman Michal Slivka said.
Enel took a 66 percent stake in Slovenske Elektrarne in 2006, paying the Slovak state 839 million euros ($1.1 billion). The stake was privatised under former Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda’s government.
“We are analysing the documents provided and are cooperating with the police based on its requests,” Slovenske Elektrarne spokeswoman Jana Burdova said.
Enel did not give further comment.
Earlier this month, the Italian energy group began the sale process of its Slovenske Elektrarne stake as part of a broader asset disposal programme.
$1 = 0.7426 Euros Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jan Lopatka; Editing by Mark Potter