• Enerjisa said to have met banks in London on IPO plans
  • Sale of stake grid operator Eedas said to take backseat to IPO

Enerjisa Enerji AS, Turkey’s biggest private energy company, is focusing on completing an initial public offering with the share sale taking priority over plans to sell a stake in its electricity distribution unit, four people familiar with the matter said.

Enerjisa, a joint venture between German utility E.ON SE and Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS, recently met bankers in London to discuss the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The company hasn’t dropped the idea of selling a minority holding in Enerjisa Elektrik Dagitim AS to reduce debt at the electricity distribution and retail business, also known as Eedas, two of the people said.

The IPO is the company’s strongest option after plans to sell a stake to Shanghai Electric Power Co. Ltd. stalled in the absence of a binding offer, three of the people said. Enerjisa was planning to sell 49 percent of Eedas to Shanghai Electric for about $1 billion, weekly magazine Para reported on May 5, citing people familiar with the matter. Christian Drepper, a spokesman for E.ON, declined to comment. An Enerjisa spokeswoman, who asked not to be identified in line with company policy, declined to comment. Sabanci declined to comment.

Enerjisa Chairman Mehmet Gocmen said in April that the IPO could happen in late 2017 or early 2018. The company could sell 10 percent to 20 percent of Eedas, which runs grids in the Asian side of Istanbul as well as the regions of Ankara and southern Adana, serving a quarter of Turkey’s 75 million people. Enerjisa, which has invested $11 billion since 2005, was planning the sale to cut more than 6 billion lira ($2.1 billion) of debt owed by its grid operations business, half of the company’s total borrowings.

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