BULGARIA: Eurohold submits a binding offer to acquire CEZ Group's assets in Bulgaria

On April 1, financial and insurance group Eurohold Bulgaria announced its binding offer for the Bulgarian assets of Czech energy group CEZ, the largest public holding company in the country and one of the leading independent business groups in Central and Southeastern Europe, Eurohold said in an official statement.

Eurohold Bulgaria will complete the procedure using its own funds with the support of leading Western European banks. The intention to acquire CEZ Group's assets in Bulgaria is part of a long-term strategy to enter new business segments that offer opportunities for growth, Eurohold explained.

Eurohold plans to increase its capital by nearly 80 million new shares, which is expected to bring in about EUR 80 million. The resolution must be approved by the company's shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting on April 22.

The assets of CEZ in Bulgaria are comprised of power utility CEZ Distribution Bulgaria, power supplier CEZ Electro Bulgaria, 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.

According to CEZ, it has received binding offers for its assets in Bulgaria from India Power and Eurohold Bulgaria. "We will now analyze these offers," CEZ press officer Alice HORAKOVA said.

CEZ Group launched the procedure to sell its assets in Bulgaria in 2017 and received several binding offers under its initial call. The company signed an agreement to sell the assets to Sofia-based Inercom in February 2018, but the deal was later rejected by Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition. Both CEZ and Inercom are currently appealing the regulator's decision before court. In December 2018, CEZ announced plans to start parallel negotiations with India Power over the sale of its Bulgarian assets, but the deal with Inercom remains valid.

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