Mol Seeks to Buy Part of Enel’s Slovak Assets in First Stage

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Mol Nyrt. seeks to buy a part of Enel SpA’s stake in Slovenske Elektrarne AS before the Mochovce nuclear power plant is completed and may decide to boost its share later, the oil refiner’s board member Oszkar Vilagi said.

The Hungarian company aims to initially buy 30 percent to 40 percent of Enel’s 66 percent stake in the Slovak power producer and may reach “basic” agreement with the Italian utility by the end of 2015, Vilagi told reporters in Prague on Friday. Mol’s Slovnaft unit is jointly bidding for Enel’s Slovak stake with Hungary’s state-owned electricity company MVM.

Italy’s largest utility wants to sell at least a part of its Slovak stake by the end of the year as it proceeds with its 5 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) asset sale program to reduce debt. The Slovak government, which owns the rest of Elektrarne and wants to boost its stake, asked Enel to complete the Mochovce plant before exiting the country.

“We see Slovakia as a stable market with a long-term prospect,” Vilagi said. “The combination of Slovenske Elektrarne’s hydroelectric plants and nuclear power is valuable.”

Mol shares fell as much as 0.5 percent after Vilagi’s comments and were trading 0.1 percent up at 14,600 forint per share as of 12:44 p.m. in Budapest.

Pick Bidder

Enel Chief Executive Officer Francesco Starace said Thursday the company will select a preferred bidder in the next few weeks from two final offers. The second bidder is the Czech-Slovak group Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding AS, spokesman Daniel Castvaj confirmed by e-mail after Starace’s comments.

Simultaneously, the Italian company is in talks on selling its share to the Slovak government. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said he aims to boost the state’s stake in Elektrarne to a majority.

Enel said Thursday it will leave the Slovak business in two steps. The company plans the final exit from Slovakia after two reactors at the Mochovce nuclear plant are finished in 2018.

(Updates with Enel’s disposal program in third paragraph, Vilagi’s quote in fourth.)
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