April 12, 2019 / 3:17 PM / 10 days ago

CEZ says Bulgarian government unlawfully prevented asset sale

PRAGUE, April 12 (Reuters) - Czech electricity producer CEZ said on Friday it had terminated a contract to sell a power distribution firm it owns in Bulgaria to Bulgarian firm Inercom, blaming the government for the failure of the deal.

“The reason for the termination of the contract by ČEZ, a. s., is frustration of the fulfillment of the conditions precedent, and thus closing of the contract, by unlawful obstructions of the Bulgarian State,” CEZ said in a statement.

“The negotiations on the sale of the assets will continue.”

In February 2018 CEZ signed a contract to sell the firm that provides electricity to more than three million Bulgarians, together with other assets in Bulgaria, to Inercom for an estimated 320 million euros.

The country’s anti-monopoly regulator blocked a deal last July and Inercom filed an appeal.

CEZ has already received two other binding offers for the assets from India Power and Eurohold, the state-controlled Czech utility said on April 1. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka)

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