September 26, 2012 / 8:01 AM / 5 years ago

Bulgaria seeks $35 million from Energo Pro units sale

* Sale to start on Oct. 3 at the local stock exchange

* Proceeds to strengthen finances, boost local bourse

SOFIA, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Bulgaria aims to raise at least 53.3 million levs ($35.3 million) from the sale of 33 percent stakes in two power distribution companies controlled by Czech utility Energo Pro, the manager of the offering said on Wednesday.

The Balkan country will offer 434,940 shares of Energo Pro Networks and 495,533 shares of Energo Pro Sales at the Sofia bourse on Oct. 3, said Alexander Zahariev at Bulgarian brokerage FFBH, which is managing the sales.

Zahariev said Bulgaria’s state privatisation agency set a minimum price of 109.87 levs per Energo Pro Networks share and 11.09 levs per Energo Pro Sales share, giving a total of 53.3 million levs.

Bulgaria, struggling to restart its fledgling economy, plans to use proceeds to bolster public finances and inject new life into the Sofia bourse which suffers from low liquidity.

“There is an interest in the sales as big institutional investors in Bulgaria, like the private pension funds, are looking for opportunities in a stagnated market,” Zahariev said.

Energo Pro acquired the majority stakes in the two companies which provide electricity to 1.1 million customers in northeastern Bulgaria from Germany’s E.ON earlier this year.

The European Union’s poorest country also plans to sell stakes in energy distributor CEZ Bulgaria, controlled by Czech group CEZ next month.

Last December, Sofia sold its 33 percent stakes in EVN Bulgarian units for a total of 93 million levs.

$1-1.5088 Bulgarian levs Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Mark Potter

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