February 22, 2018 / 3:42 PM / a year ago

New Czech firm to invest 1 billion euros in European power

PRAGUE, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Czech energy investor Pavel Tykac has set up Seven Energy holding company to invest more than 1 billion euros mainly in European power plants fired by fossil fuels, even as many utilities shift their focus to renewables.

The strategy mirrors that of Czech energy firm EPH, which has profited from buying up older plants in Germany, Britain, Italy and elsewhere in recent years.

Tykac, who owns the Chvaletice power plant and coal mines in the Czech Republic, failed in his first bid to expand in power markets two years ago when he lost to EPH in a tender to buy lignite plants in Germany.

Seven Energy said in a statement it would be led by former managers from majority state-owned Czech utility giant CEZ , including former board member Alan Svoboda and former trading head Michal Skalka.

“We are interested in all acquisitions where we can add some value. We want to remain in energy, mainly the conventional energy where we have strong know-how,” Svoboda said.

Tykac has been active in Czech energy markets for more than a decade and is one of the richest business executive in the central European country.

“We believe the end of conventional (energy) sources is unavoidable. But it will be slower than how the politicians have planned it,” he told newspaper Hospodarske Noviny. (Reporting by Robert Muller and Jason Hovet; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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