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CEZ faces Nov 30 deadline to complete sale of assets in Bulgaria to Inercom

CEZ faces Nov 30 deadline to complete sale of assets in Bulgaria to Inercom CEZ

SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 8 (SeeNews) - Czech energy group CEZ told SeeNews on Thursday that the contract for the sale of its assets in Bulgaria to Sofia-based Inercom has November 30 set as deadline for wrapping up the deal.

"The long stop date for the fulfillment of all the Condition precedents is defined in the contract signed between CEZ and Inercom," Alice Horakova, CEZ press officer, said in an e-mailed statement in response to a SeeNews enquiry.

At present, CEZ and Inercom are both challenging the decision of Bulgaria's anti-trust regulator to ban the transaction.

In July, the anti-trust body banned the deal, saying it will lead to the establishing of a dominant position on the photovoltaic energy generation market. Later that month Inercom and CEZ appealed the decision before Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court.

Subsequently, Inercom sold its photovoltaic business in order to address the concerns of the competition authority and asked for the start of new proceedings. The Commission for Protection of Competition declined the request, saying that the initial proceedings have not yet been closed, as its decision is currently being challenged in court.

CEZ assets in Bulgaria include power distributor CEZ Razpredelenie [BUL:3CZ], power supplier CEZ Electro Bulgaria [BUL:1CZ], licensed electricity trader CEZ Trade Bulgaria, IT services company CEZ ICT Bulgaria, solar park Free Energy Project Oreshetz, biomass-fired power plant Bara Group and CEZ Bulgaria, which manages and coordinates the operations of the group's Bulgarian units.

The price of the transaction is 326 million euro ($378.3 million), according to CEZ Group's annual financial statement published in March.

The contract between CEZ Group and Inercom was signed on February 23. It raised concerns about Inercom's ability to finance the acquisition, which resulted in the establishment of a parliamentary ad hoc committee with the purpose of looking into the sale and purchase agreement.

Inercom Bulgaria was incorporated for the purpose of the deal with CEZ. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sofia-based Inercom Investments, according to data from the Bulgarian commercial register. The company has a registered capital of 50,000 levs.

($ =0.8618 euro)

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