Slovakia May Reconsider Buying Part of Enel Stake in Elektrarne

Slovakia’s government may not try to increase its stake in Slovenske Elektrarne AS by buying a part of Enel SpA’s share in the power utility, it said.

The Slovak state, which currently controls 34 percent of Elektrarne, may be satisfied with securing greater management influence in the Enel-controlled company, Economy Minister Vazil Hudak said on Wednesday in the capital Bratislava. Prime Minister Robert Fico had earlier said his government would try to increase its stake to over 50 percent.

The government is trying to regain authority to oversee the construction of two units at the Mochovce nuclear power station, a project whose budget has almost doubled and which has suffered a series of delays under Enel management. Still, it may stop short of increasing its stake because it needs the cash to balance the budget by 2018 and reduce debt.

“Our intention is to strengthen the position of the state,” Hudak said. “Whether it will be through a higher stake or through a change in the shareholder agreement will be shown by an analysis” that’s being carried out now, he said.

Italy’s largest utility has announced its intention to sell at least a part of its 66 percent stake in Elektrarne by the year-end as it proceeds with its 5 billion euro ($5.7 billion) asset-sale program to finance growth. It’s currently holding exclusive talks with Prague-based Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding AS. Slovnaft, the Slovak unit of Hungarian oil company Mol Nyrt., said on Oct. 19 it had withdrawn from the bidding process.

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