Inercom Asks Anti-Trust Watchdog to Greenlight Acquisition of Bulgarian Assets of Czech CEZ Group
Sofia, June 26 (BTA) - Inercom Bulgaria RAD has asked the Commission for the Protection of Competition to green light its bid to acquire the Bulgarian assets of Czech energy group CEZ. The anti-trust watchdog said in a statement Tuesday that it will determine whether the deal constitutes a notifiable concentration between undertakings before authorizing the acquisition.
Inercom is seeking to acquire CEZ Bulgaria EAD and electricity distribution company CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD, its electricity trading arm, an IT company, a solar park and a biomass fuelled power plant it owns in Bulgaria.
The prospective deal between the Czech energy giant and the obscure Pazardjik-based Inercom caused major turmoil earlier in the year. The Government initially said it wanted to be part of the deal so as to secure smooth operation after the transition of ownership but then gave up the idea. In mid-March Parliament set up an ad hoc committee to look into the details of the intended purchase,, including the source of the money that the buyer would use, but failed to find out much more than was already known. At the end of the committee's term, its chair Zhelyu Boychev (Socialist) said it "remained unclear how a company of such [small] scale and volume of assets can acquire such a strategic business".
While the selling price of the assets has not been formally disclosed, media reports set it at 342.5 million euro.
Inercom does not expect the acquisition to affect competition on the relevant markets. A limited or insignificant impact is likely on the national market for electricity production and wholesale and on the vertically connected market for trade in electricity, the Commission said.
By June 31, any interested party can submit information or send the Commission for the Protection of Competition a reasoned opinion about the deal and its impact on the market and competition.