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Serb EPS Offers Consumers Debt Rescheduling to Boost Liquidity

Elektroprivreda Srbije JP, Serbia’s dominant power company, offered to reschedule debt of more than 400,000 consumers for 2012 unpaid bills as it tries to boost liquidity and gauge how much it will borrow from banks.

The unprofitable state-run utility offered to write off as much as 8 billion dinar ($94 million) interest on 76 billion dinars owed by the consumers, in exchange for repayment of principal over three months to two years, depending on size of outstanding debt, Dragan Veljic, EPS’s chief for legal affairs, told reporters in Belgrade today.

The company said Feb. 7 it may need 50 billion dinars from lenders to pay suppliers and employers and service own debt in 2013. It later revised that to 30 billion dinars, on an expected increase in power prices which should boost its cash flow.

The offer to consumers is valid through March and EPS does not “realistically expect” to close the agreements with all of the consumers, Veljic said. The offer may bring in some 37 billion dinars over two years, while a decision on the size of the bank loan may be reached in the coming weeks, he said.

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