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Four Binding Bids for Litostroj Power

Ljubljana, 29 January (STA) - Two Czech companies, a US fund and a Slovenian-Croatian consortium have made binding bids to take over Litostroj Power, the Ljubljana-based hydro turbine manufacturer, according to the business daily Finance.

The best two bidders will be given another opportunity to improve their offer and the sale procedure is expected to be completed in February, the daily reports on Wednesday citing unofficial information.

Litostroj Power's current owner, the struggling automotive group Cimos, can expect to net roughly EUR 20m from the sale of the world-known maker of turbines for power stations, according to Finance.

The daily names the two Czech bidders as Energo-Pro, which last year generated EUR 180m in EBITDA, and the KKCG fund, owned by Karel Komarek, whose assets were estimated at US$1bn by Forbes last year.

KKCG's main line of business is trading in oil and natural gas, but the company would also like to expand intro energy through the acquisition of Litostroj Power. Energo-Pro meanwhile operates hydro power stations in the Czech Republic, Poland and Georgia.

One of the bidders is the Slovenian industrial group Kolektor in conjunction with the Croatian company Končar, which has been doing business with Litostroj Power for several years.

The fourth bidder is EMSA, which manages a EUR 90m fund specialising in investment in companies in eastern and central Europe that require fast restructuring.

According to Finance, some of the bidders had initially wanted Cimos to take over the guarantees given by Litostroj Power to its clients for quality work in major projects in India and Canada.

But the daily also reports that the seller had obviously been convincing enough as at least some of the bids are now without strings attached.

Some of the bidders have improved their bids in the second round of negotiations, which Finance believes could be due to EUR 200m worth of new orders for this year.

Litostroj Power expects to generate over EUR 70m in revenue this year. The company does not have a net debt, but needs a buyer to get access to bank guarantees, the daily reports.

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