Business Briefs

CEZ acquires Bulgaria's largest bloc of power distributors; a Czech-Slovak financial company buys Sparta Prague; and the daily Mlada Fronta Dnes reports on a OECD report that says tax collection in the Czech Rep is costly & complicated

CEZ acquires Bulgaria's largest bloc of power distributors

Photo: Europea Commission
Bulgaria's energy regulator has approved the sale of a 67 % stake in a group of Bulgarian power distributors to CEZ, the Czech national power utility. CEZ has acquired Bulgaria's largest bloc of power distributors, the Western Bulgaria group made up of three companies. The deal, worth over 280 million euros was the largest foreign acquisition in the history of the Czech Republic. The Western Bulgaria group includes the power utilities for Sofia and the Sofia region. The Czech national power utility CEZ is seeking to expand into other Central and East European markets, including Slovakia, Poland, Croatia and Ukraine.

Czech-Slovak financial company buys Sparta Prague

Czech football side Sparta Prague has been bought out by the Czech-Slovak financial company J&T Credit Investments. The details of the final buy-out have not been disclosed but some estimates suggest the price may have been around 35 million US, or approximately 27 million euros. Much of the club will reportedly remain unchanged with Vlastimil Kostal staying on in his current position as club president. Sparta is currently the top club in the Czech Republic's premier division, losing just once in 19 league games.

Daily: Tax collection in Czech Rep costly & complicated

Thursday's edition of Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes writes that the collection of taxes is more complicated and costly in the Czech Republic than 24 other advanced economies, citing a new study on tax administration released by the OECD. According to the report, the state spends 2 crowns 80 hellers on every 100 crowns it receives in tax revenues. The study shows 24 other countries paying less than half that amount. Also seen as too high: the number of tax collectors reducing the efficiency of the tax system. The Finance Ministry has reportedly admitted collection costs are too high; but the ministry is questioning the compatibility of data of all the countries compared.