July 8, 2013 / 7:27 AM / in 5 years

Legal issues to delay Romania nuclear IPO-report

BUCHAREST, July 8 (Reuters) - The initial public offering of a 10 percent stake in Romanian state-owned nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica will be delayed at least until the second half of July due to legal issues, the head of the OPSPI privatisation agency has said.

Romania owns a 90 percent stake in the firm, and investment fund Fondul Proprietatea holds the remaining 10 percent, which it values at 147 million euros.

But Nuclearelectrica unionists have challenged the decision to list a stake in the firm, claiming U.S.-based asset manager Franklin Templeton was illegally appointed as Fondul’s administrator and had no right to vote in favour of the IPO at the shareholders meeting.

“The union ... does not recognize Franklin Templeton’s manager role,” OPSPI director Gabriel Dumitrascu was quoted as saying by daily newspaper Ziarul Financiar on Monday.

“We hope that by the end of the week we will have a favourable decision so that we can send the (listing) prospectus for approval.”

The government set a price range of 11.2-15 lei per share in the initial public offering in June and the offer was expected to be launched in early July.

Franklin Templeton’s 2010 appointment as Fondul’s asset manager has been challenged in court, but the fund has managed to overturn the decision.

Nuclearelectrica will be the first IPO of a state-owned company since the 2007 listing of a minority stake in gas grid operator Transgaz, and is part of wider privatisation commitments agreed under an aid deal led by the International Monetary Fund. (Reporting by Ioana Patran; Editing by Luiza Ilie and Patrick Graham)

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