CEZ still in hunt for Slovak power utility

10 November 2003 – Czech power producer CEZ confirmed Friday its interest in acquiring Slovenske Elektrarne, the Slovak utility subject to a privatization. CEZ said it had written to the Slovak government indicating its interest and would be writing again in more detail in December.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is advising the government on the privatization and is expected to collect bid intentions by 5 December before carrying out due diligence ahead of the final bid deadline due in the middle of next year.

A press conference to discuss what is the biggest current eastern European privatization deal, has been scheduled for today by the Slovak authorities.

CEZ will compete with Russian Unified Energy System, which also said it is taking part in a sale that could raise anything from zero to €300m ($346m), depending on the extent the government bails out the Slovak utility.

Other interested parties are thought to be the UK’s International Power, Verbund of Austria and Belgian Electrabel. Earlier interested parties, Italy’s Enel and Germany’s E.ON and RWE are now not expected to bid.

Slovenske Elektrarne uses conventional and nuclear power sources with a combined capacity of 6.88 GW.