Business News

Petrol Buys Majority Stake in Energy Group Istrabenz Gorenje

Ljubljana, 21 June (STA) - Energy company Petrol has signed contracts on the acquisition of at least a 53.45% stake in Istrabenz Gorenje, the energy group that also incorporates half of GEN-I, the distributor of electricity from the country's sole nuclear power plant.

Petrol signed the contracts on Monday with Gorenje, primarily a household appliance maker, which is selling a 46.55% stake, and GEN-I chairman Robert Golob, who is selling between 6.9% and 9.9%, Petrol and Gorenje said in separate press releases on Tuesday.

The deal will enter into force as soon as all suspensive conditions are met, with the deadline set for 31 July this year.

While Gorenje and Petrol failed to specify the suspensive conditions, the daily Dnevnik reported that they one of them is approval from the Competition Protection Office.

According to the paper, the deal has already been cleared by Petrol's supervisors but now also needs a nod from the shareholders of the Istrabenz holding.

As the owner of the remaining shares, Istrabenz holds pre-emptive rights on the shares being sold by fellow owners, but is not likely to use it, given that it is undergoing debt restructuring.

Dnevnik adds that the value of Istrabenz Gorenje is estimated at EUR 25m and that the sellers will have to take over certain guarantees.

Istrabenz Gorenje sells electricity in Slovenia as well as the markets of the EU and SE Europe. It moreover deals with innovation in sustainable energy and efficient use of energy and sustainable sources.

These are also increasingly important fields for Petrol, which is becoming the leading energy company in the country with the acquisition, Petrol said.

The Istrabenz Gorenje group, whose core company is seated in Slovenia, also includes companies headquartered in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria and Croatia. The core company owns 50% of electricity distributer Gen-I, which distributes energy from the Krsko Nuclear Power Plant, among other things.

The Istrabenz Gorenje group generated EUR 347.6m in sales revenues in 2010, an increase of 40% on 2009. Earnings before interest and tax fell from EUR 4.6m to EUR 1.9m and net profit was down from EUR 3m to EUR 138,000.

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