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Bulgaria Sold Most of Minority Stakes in EVN Power Companies

Bulgaria sold most of the state’s 33 percent stakes in the two Bulgarian units of Austrian power utility EVN AG for a total of 92.97 million lev ($63 million) on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

Bulgaria sold 98.8 percent and 99.4 percent of its minority stakes in EVN Bulgaria and EVN Bulgaria Electrosnabdiavane, respectively, EVN’s two Bulgarian power units in charge of distribution and grid operation, the Sofia-based bourse said in an e-mail today.

The stock was sold on the first day of a 30-day mixed closed auction at around 1,633 lev per share in Electrorazpredelenie, EVN’s power distributor, and 156.6 lev per share in Electrosnabdiavane, the EVN’s grid operation unit. The stocks rose 18.8 percent and 30 percent, respectively, from the minimum prices set by the asset-selling agency.

“The main buyers are most likely the majority owner and the local pension funds,” Ilian Scarlatov, executive manager of KBC Securities Bulgaria, said today.

The government is selling its minority stakes in all seven power distributors, which were sold in 2005 to Germany’s E.ON AG, CEZ AS and EVN in the run-up to joining the European Union. E.ON has signed an agreement with Czech utility Energo-Pro to sell its 100 percent subsidiary in Bulgaria in a deal worth 133 million euros ($174.1 million), the company said on Dec. 3.

EVN has 1.5 million customers in Plovdiv and Stara Zagora in southern Bulgaria.

The Austrian utility has invested 900 million lev in the Balkan country since 2005, to modernize the power grid, build two solar parks and a co-generation power plant, Jörg Sollfellner, EVN Bulgaria regional manager, said in the bourse in Sofia today.

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