Press: Major players set sights on Czech branch of innogy as sale approaches

Photo: Štěpánka Budková

The deal of the year in the Czech Republic’s energy industry is beginning to take shape, with a number of major players battling it out to get their hands on the largest gas supplier on the domestic market, the local branch of innogy, Hospodářské noviny reported on Monday.

Photo: Štěpánka Budková
Five names are on the shortlist to acquire innogy Czech Republic from German power giant E.ON, the business daily said. They include the company MND, part of Karel Komárek’s KKCG group, Jiří Písařík’s Bohemia Energy and Daniel Křetínský’s Energetický a průmyslový holding.

The Czech branch of innogy, which was known as RWE until 2016, is valued at around CZK 25 billion. Alongside electricity and gas supplies to over 1.5 million customers, the county’s largest network of compressed natural gas filling stations, CNG, heat production and other services are being sold in a deal that ought to be concluded by June, Hospodářské noviny said.

One informed source told the newspaper that there was a great deal of interest in the innogy sale, not only from Czech companies but also from foreign investment groups beyond the energy sector.

Regarding the five names in the hat, MND has been the fastest growing energy supplier on the domestic market for a number of years, while Bohemia Energy, which balked at the price, has teamed up with a foreign investor in a bid to take over innogy Czech Republic.

Another bidder, Energetický a průmyslový holding, has been buying and building electric power stations throughout Western Europe but is a relatively small player in the Czech energy supply sector.

The country’s biggest power company, the semi-state CEZ, did not make the second round. It already supplies energy to 40 percent of Czech consumers and it is highly likely that the anti-trust authority would have not allowed it to acquire another 450,000 supply points, Hospodářské noviny said.

Nevertheless, the daily added, CEZ has not thrown in the towel and is attempting to persuade one of the bidders for innogy to sell it part or all of a portfolio of 1.1 million gas consumers.

E.ON’s sale of the Czech branch of innogy is linked to a huge deal between it and another German company, RWE.

E.ON received innogy Czech Republic as part of an exchange of assets but already supplies electricity and gas to 1.3 million customers in this country. It was therefore ordered to make the sale by the European Commission.