February 28, 2020 / 2:58 PM / in a month

Lithuania readies IPO of state energy firm Ignitis Group

RIGA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Lithuania should list between a quarter and a third of its state-owned energy utility, which needs to raise billions of euros over the next few years to fund its operations, a Finance Ministry committee said on Friday.

According to the committee, Ignitis Group will need 5 to 6 billion euros ($5.4-$6.5 billion) by 2030 to ensure reliable energy generation, a modern distribution network and to develop renewable energy production capabilities.

“This would strengthen the country’s energy independence and ... the IPO process itself could serve as a major breakthrough for the local capital market,” Lithuanian Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka said in a statement.

The committee said Ignitis Group, which operates across the Baltic region, should be ready for the initial public offering (IPO) before September this year.

The exact time of the IPO will depend on the capital market conditions and might be later, a spokesperson for Ignitis Group wrote in an email to Reuters.

The stock will be listed on at least one of the region’s exchanges and retail investors will be offered a chance to participate.

Lithuania’s government still has to decide whether it will go ahead with the offering.

$1 = 0.9201 euros Reporting by Gederts Gelzis; Editing by Simon Johnson and Mark Potter

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