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Kulczyk Hires Four Ex-Vattenfall Electricity Traders in Warsaw

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Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Kulczyk Investments Energy Trading Polska SA, owned by Polish billionaire Jan Kulczyk, hired four traders from Vattenfall AB after the Nordic region’s biggest utility cut staff at its unit in Warsaw.

Marek Krzysteczko, the former director of central and eastern European power trading at Vattenfall, joined Kulczyk together with three former colleagues, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Krzysteczko also joined the board of the energy-trading unit, which buys and sells power for the group’s Polish units. They started this month.

“Vattenfall’s trading team is considered one of the best in central and eastern Europe,” Marta Wysocka-Antonsen, a spokeswoman for Kulczyk Holding, said in the statement.

Vattenfall Energy Trading moved its central European activities to Hamburg from Warsaw last year, cutting staff in the Polish capital by about 50 percent. The team’s task will be to increase the company’s activity in Poland’s wholesale market and start trading German, Czech and Slovak electricity in the coming months, according to the statement.

The four traders have resigned from Vattenfall, Thorsten Ziegler, a spokesman for its trading unit in Hamburg, said today by phone. The utility has three traders buying and selling power in central and eastern Europe, as well as one analyst, and won’t replace the Kulczyk hires, Ziegler said.

Kulczyk, whose biggest investments include stakes in oil and gas exploration company Kulczyk Oil Ventures Inc. and brewer SABMiller Plc., is also building a coal-fired power plant in northern Poland. In September, its Polenergia Holding unit bought a controlling stake in renewable energy developer Polish Energy Partners SA.

Vattenfall, the state-owned Swedish utility, sold its Polish power and heating units in 2011 to Tauron Polska Energia SA and Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA for $2.7 billion as it withdrew from markets including Poland, to focus on Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw mstrzelecki1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson in London at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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