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GDF, Kulczyk Vie for Poland’s $1.8 Billion Enea Stake

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Poland chose GDF Suez SA, France’s largest utility, and Kulczyk Holding SA for final talks to buy 51 percent of its third-largest utility Enea SA, rejecting Electricite de France SA.

Poland’s Treasury Ministry chose two of the three shortlisted bidders for the stake, it said in a statement on its website today, without naming the companies. Kulczyk is one of the two bidders, a person close to the transaction told Bloomberg News today, and GDF is the other, another person said, declining to be identified because the information isn’t public.

EDF was the third bidder, a third person said earlier.

Enea shares were little changed at 23 zloty at 10:16 a.m. in Warsaw, trading 0.9 percent below last week’s one-year high and valuing the stake at 5.18 billion zloty ($1.8 billion).

The sale is part of a government plan to raise 25 billion zloty ($8.9 billion) to help finance the widening budget deficit. The Treasury Ministry sold or agreed to sell stakes in three of its four biggest power groups this year, potentially contributing 15.7 billion zloty toward the target.

The ministry aims to get a 10 percent to 20 percent premium over the market price for Enea, Deputy Treasury Minister Jan Bury said last month.

Maciej Wewior, a spokesman for the ministry, confirmed by phone that Poland plans to complete the sale by the end of this year. He declined to name the bidders.

Katarzyna Majchrzak and Marta Wysocka, Warsaw-based spokeswomen for EDF and Kulczyk respectively, declined to comment today. Kamil Socha, a spokesman for GDF in Poland, didn’t answer a call seeking comment.

Kulczyk is owned by Polish billionaire Jan Kulczyk, who previously held stakes in PKN Orlen SA, Poland’s largest refiner, and Telekomunikacja Polska SA, the country’s largest phone company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maciej Martewicz in Warsaw at mmartewicz@bloomberg.net; Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw at mstrzelecki1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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