Court Rejects Complaints by Inercom Bulgaria and CEZ against Regulator over Stopped Deal for CEZ Assets
123 - ECONOMY - COURT - INERCOM - CEZ
Court Rejects Complaints by Inercom Bulgaria and
CEZ against Regulator over Stopped Deal
for CEZ Assets
Sofia, February 21 (BTA) - The Sofia Administrative Court said Thursday it has rejected complaints by Czech energy group CEZ and Inercom Bulgaria over a December 2018 decision by the Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) which put on hold a deal for acquisition of the Bulgarian assets of CEZ by Inercom until the Supreme Administrative Court decides on an earlier decision by the regulator to stop the deal.
The Court found that the Commission for the Protection of Competition did the right thing when it stopped the deal until the Supreme Administrative Court makes a final decision because only then will there be clarity about the position of the CEZ-owned companies being acquired, and their market standing.
The Court decision is appealable before the Supreme Administrative Court.
The CEZ assets in Bulgaria include power distributor CEZ Razpredelenie, power supplier CEZ Electro Bulgaria, licensed electricity trader CEZ Trade Bulgaria, IT services company CEZ ICT Bulgaria, solar park Free Energy Project Oreshetz, the biomass-fired power plant Bara Group and CEZ Bulgaria, which runs the operations of the group's Bulgarian units.
Last February CEZ and Inercom signed a tentative contract for acquisition of the CEZ assets by Inercom for 326 million euro but the deal came to a standstill amid suspicions over the origin of the money Inercom would use in the transaction. Then CPC refused to clear the deal over a possible abuse of dominant position on the solar energy market.
In December 2018, CEZ told the Sofia-based business news provider SeeNews that it planned to start parallel negotiations with India Power over the sale of its Bulgarian business. LN/