A new investor of a Czech part of energy group innogy will be known next year, innogy Czech Republic spokesman Martin Chalupsky told CTK today in reaction to an EC decision under which E.ON can take over some of innogy's assets if it meets certain conditions.
E.ON has the same time schedule, E.ON head Johannes Teyssen told journalists in Essen today. There have been several bidders but their names will not be disclosed, said Teyssen.
E.ON sees the prepared sale of innogy's Czech assets as the greatest concession to the EC. If possible, it would keep them, said Teyseen. Nothing changes for 1.6 million Czech clients who need not fear they will have to look for a new energy distributor, Chalupsky said.
The Commission said today E.ON energy company may take over part of innogy's assets but it has to sell gas and power assets of innogy on the Czech market, for example. The EC approved a proposal E.ON had submitted to it.
E.ON proposed to sell Czech assets and some assets in Hungary and Germany. If E.ON does meet its commitment and sells the property the Commission will approve the merger, it said.
The EC decision was criticised by competitors and consumer protection associations that fear that E.ON will have a too strong position in some markets, with energy prices to go possibly up. E.ON will supply gas and electricity to some 50 million customers in Europe.
Germany's innogy is the largest gas distributor in Czechia, employing some 4,100 people on the market at the end of last year. It also distributes electricity and heat and provides other services.
"The approved transaction between RWE and E.ON companies will have no impact on the existing relations with innogy customers in Czechia," innogy Energie CEO Tomas Varcop said.
"I would like to emphasise that a new investor's entry into the Czech group innogy in 2020 will be prepared under supervision and guarantees of the European Commission," said Varcop.
Euro.cz reported this week that, according to available information, CEZ group, Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH) of entrepreneur Daniel Kretinsky, KKCG of entrepreneur Karel Komarek and Slovak firm SPP are prospective buyers of the part of innogy CR. CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz told CTK the firm would make a decision based on the sale's conditions.
Interest in innogy was also expressed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), a division of Australian financial group Macquarie.
In line with the EC decision, a group of investors led by MIRA is due to become a sole shareholder of innogy Grid Holding (iGH) which controls a major part of gas distribution in Czechia.
MIRA currently owns 49.96 percent of iGH. It said at the end of April it exercised the pre-emptive right to the remaining 50.04 percent of the stock held by RWE. RWE said MIRA had paid some EUR1.8bn (Kc46.2bn) for the remainder of iGH, Reuters agency reported earlier.
Australin bank Macquarie's fund has a 31 percent stake in EP Infrastructure (EPIF), a major part of EPH. Innogy also runs six gas storage tanks in Czechia.
E.ON is buying innogy's assets under a property swap agreement with Germany's RWE. After completing the deal E.ON will focus on distribution and retail sale of electricity and gas and RWE on wholesale electricity production. RWE will also become a key player on the renewable market.