CEZ kicks off Romania divestment, calling for bidders

Credit: REUTERS/DAVID W CERNY

Czech utility CEZ kicked off the sale of its Romanian assets on Monday, calling for potential bidders to state their interest for a tender by Sept. 25.

Adds details, company statement

PRAGUE, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Czech utility CEZ CEZP.PR kicked off the sale of its Romanian assets on Monday, calling for potential bidders to state their interest for a tender by Sept. 25.

Czech utility CEZ CEZP.PR called for potential bidders for its Romanian assets to state their interest for a tender by Sept. 25, in newspaper adverts put out by the company on Monday.

CEZ laid out plans in May to exit Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Turkey as it focuses more on its home market while maintaining a renewable energy presence in western Europe. It took a first step with the agreed sale of Bulgarian assets in June.

On Monday, it put out newspaper adverts saying companies or consortiums should state their interest in participating in the sale process in Romania by Sept. 25 and a call for non-binding bids would follow.

"CEZ will be seeking bids for all or part of CEZ Romanian Assets, namely, distribution, renewables and supply businesses," the ad said.

The majority state-owned utility said in a separate statement it would keep energy service assets that are part of its ESCO unit and trading units.

CEZ entered Romania in 2005 and, among other assets, it owns one of the country's biggest distributors and Europe's largest onshore wind park - the 600 MW Fantanele-Cogealac park.

CEZ is also aiming to unload assets in Poland and Turkey as part of its divestment strategy. It wants to complete the process before the end of 2022.

The assets in all four of the countries listed for divestments contributed 5.5 billion crowns ($235 million) to CEZ's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), which totalled 49.5 billion crowns last year.

CEZ has said proceeds from divestments would go to reducing debt, investment in the Czech Republic and a special dividend for shareholders.

($1 = 23.4320 Czech crowns)

(Reporting by Robert Muller and Jason Hovet; Editing by Susan Fenton)

((robert.muller@thomsonreuters.com; +420224190475; Reuters Messaging: robert.muller.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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