Serbian EPS interested in buying 18.3 percent stake in EPCG


May 29 Montenegro has extended to July 17 a deadline for the submission of bids for a stake in the country’s power monopoly Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), an official said on Friday.

In February, Montenegro put on sale an 18.3 percent stake in its power monopoly Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) to boost its capital and improve its position in the regional market. The deadline had already been extended for a month to June 1.

“Potential bidders said they needed more time to gather proper documentation and to complete internal decision procedures,” said Ivana Saranavic of the state tender commission.

EPCG, 70.6 percent owned by the state, posted a 7 million euro ($9.80 million) loss in 2008. The company is estimated to be worth around 1 billion euros.

Italy’s A2A SpA (A2.MI) said it was interested in buying stake in EPCG and announced last Tuesday it had bought a stake of around 15 pct in EPCG in series of block trade transactions on Montenegro Stock Exchange.

Greece’s biggest power company Public Power Corp (PPC), and Serbia’s power monopoly EPS also said they were interested in buying a an 18.3 percent stake in EPCG.

Of 18.3 percent stake on offer, 9.15 percent of the equity will be sold out of existing capital and a further 9.15 percent will be a new share issue to boost the capital of the power company.

Without new power-generating facilities for 25 years, Montenegro lacks on average 35 percent of its electricity needs a year. The government expects the sale of EPCG stake to improve its position in the regional market in the future. (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac. Editing by Anthony Barker)

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