The CEO of Czech energy group CEZ said on Monday that it is planning to sell its assets in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Turkey, Czech media reported.
"Within the new strategy, we have the ambition to leave Bulgaria in the coming years," business daily newspaper Hospodarske Noviny quoted Daniel Benes as saying in an interview.
The group will direct its strategy more towards the Czech Republic which will be an absolute priority market for us now, Benes said.
"We also consider exiting Romania, Turkey and we are considering leaving Poland, where we have two coal-fired power plants, as part of the group’s intention to cut down the carbon dioxide emissions."
Benes added that the group is expecting to receive several billion Czech crowns from the sale of its assets in Romania.
On May 22, CEZ declined to comment on Romanian media reports that it plans to sell its business in the country.
"We are aware of these statements circulating in Romania. The mother company in the Czech Republic currently prepares the regular update of its strategy. The strategy will be discussed at the general assembly with the shareholders next month. At this moment, we do not comment on it," a CEZ press officer told SeeNews in an e-mailed statement.
Regulatory authorities in Romania have already been informed about the intentions of CEZ to sell its operations in the country, local media reported last week, quoting unnamed market sources.
According to media reports, CEZ shareholders are dissatisfied with the group's strategy in Eastern Europe and claim that the management cannot ensure long-term profitability in some economies such as Romania, Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
CEZ Group has been present in Romania since 2005, when it took over national distribution company Electrica Oltenia. It currently serves over 3.5 million customers locally through nine companies: Distributie Oltenia, CEZ Romania, CEZ Vanzare, CEZ Trade, CEZ ESCO Romania, Tomis Team, MW Invest, Ovidiu Development, and TMK Hydroenergy Power.
In April, financial and insurance group Eurohold Bulgaria [BUL:4EH] launched exclusive talks for the acquisition of CEZ' assets in Bulgaria.
(1 CZK=$0.04/0.04 euro)
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