VILNIUS Dec 20 Lithuania's government said on
Thursday it had reached a deal to merge private and state-owned
electricity companies to get the financial firepower to help
build a new nuclear power station.
After hitches in negotiating with privately-owned NDX
Energia, the government said in a statement it had now agreed to
merge NDX's grid company VST with state-owned grid company RST
and state-owned system operator Lietuvos energija LEN1L.VL.
The government said it wanted to merge the companies so they
would be able to raise the funds needed to meet Lithuania's
share of the cost of the new nuclear plant, planned to have a
capacity of 3,200-3,400 megawatts.
The government has estimated Lithuania's share at 7.5
billion Lithuanian litas ($3.12 billion) for a total bill of 22
billion litas. It has invited Poland, Latvia and Estonia also to
take part in the project.
The parent company will be owned 61.7 percent by the state
and 38.8 percent by NDX energija. The government is to offer to
buy a 20.3 percent stake in RST owned by Germany's E.ON.
The merged company is set to float less than 0.3 percent of
its shares on the Vilnius stock exchange. The combined market
capitalisation of the firms is 8.5 billion litas.
The new nuclear power station is to replace the Ignalina
plant, which has to be shut in 2009 under an agreement with the
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Patrick Lannin)