Enea SA dropped the most in almost two months in Warsaw trading after Poland ended exclusive talks to sell its third-largest utility to Kulczyk Holding SA, delaying the deal by as much as three months.
Enea fell 1.7 percent to 23.25 zloty at the close today, the biggest drop since Sept. 22, after earlier declining as much as 4.4 percent. The benchmark WIG20 Index fell 0.1 percent.
Kulczyk, owned by Polish billionaire Jan Kulczyk, was chosen last month for exclusive talks to buy 51 percent of Enea as Poland continues its 25 billion-zloty ($8.5 billion) asset sale plan this year to help cover its widening budget deficit. The Treasury gave Kulczyk until Nov. 3 to prove it had financing to buy the Poznan-based utility, valued at 10.3 billion zloty at today’s price.
The government is reopening talks with all the bidders that were earlier admitted to talks, the ministry said yesterday, without identifying them. Ministry spokesman Maciej Wewior declined to comment further today.
Marta Wysocka, a spokeswoman for Kulczyk Holding, said by phone the company was invited today to continue negotiations.
On Oct. 5, the ministry received four binding bids for Enea from GDF Suez SA, France’s largest utility, Electricite de France SA, and Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding AS of the Czech Republic.
Kulczyk and the French companies were invited to the group of three finalists on Oct. 12, which seven days later was reduced to two bidders.
Antoine Lenoir, a spokesman for GDF, and Katarzyna Majchrzak, a spokeswoman for EDF, declined to comment.
Energeticky confirmed it’s interested in Enea, Martin Manak, a spokesman, wrote in a text message in reply to questions from Bloomberg. He declined to comment whether the Czech company could be invited back to negotiations.
“Our opinion is that the sale was settled,” Kulczyk Holding Chief Executive Officer Dariusz Mioduski said in an e-mail yesterday. “We won exclusivity because we placed an unconditional bid that was the best in terms of price, quality of investment commitments and plans for company development.”
Today’s decision to reopen talks means the sale will be completed by March 31, the ministry said, abandoning an earlier plan to finish the deal by the end of this year. The government this year sold or signed deals to sell 26.3 billion zloty of stakes in companies, including copper producer KGHM Polska Miedz SA and oil refiner Grupa Lotos SA.