Energa Falls in Warsaw as Utility Replaces Top Managers

Energa SA shares slumped the most in 13 months in Warsaw after Poland’s third-biggest utility replaced its entire management team, including Miroslaw Bielinski, the company’s chief executive officer since 2008.

The state-controlled power group fell as much as 7 percent to 25.10 zloty on Wednesday, the biggest drop since March 2014. The shares were down 5.3 percent at 12:07 p.m., paring their year-to-date increase to 11 percent. The benchmark WIG20 Index fell 0.6 percent.

Energa’s net income more than doubled last year from 2012, the year before the utility made its debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The company is part of a government plan to merge four state-controlled utilities in two groups led by Warsaw-based Tauron Polska Energia SA and PGE SA. Poland’s Treasury delayed the consolidation after it sparked protests from politicians from Gdansk, where Energa is based.

“Investors probably won’t like this change because the previous management was well-perceived,” Bartlomiej Kubicki, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in Warsaw, said by e-mail on Wednesday. “It’s difficult to say, but it can’t be excluded” that Tuesday’s reshuffle may be connected with the merger plan, Kubicki said.

Agnieszka Jablonska-Twarog, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Ministry, declined to comment when reached by phone by Bloomberg News on Wednesday.

Merger Furor

Bielinski was replaced as CEO by Andrzej Tersa, while Chief Financial Officer Roman Szyszko, who’d also been on the board since 2008, is succeeded by Seweryn Kedra as the management board’s term ended. Energa shareholders approved a record dividend of 1.44 zloty a share at a general meeting in Warsaw on Wednesday.

The Treasury announced in January that it would release details of the consolidation plan to help utilities raise funds for investments. The ministry sought to merge Energa with PGE, the country’s biggest power utility, while combining number-two power distributor Tauron Polska Energia SA with Enea SA, according to Roman Rutkowski, head of the Solidarity labor union’s power-industry section. Details of the plan have not been officially released by the ministry.

The government postponed announcement of the plan until mid-2105 after the mayors of Gdansk and two other coastal cities, all members of the ruling Civic Platform party, demanded Energa remain a separate entity in a letter to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. Bogdan Borusewicz, deputy leader of Civic Platform, and Janusz Lewandowski, Kopacz’s chief economic adviser, also objected to the merger.

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