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Dentons Europe wins tender for legal advisor on Romania's Hidroelectrica IPO

Source: Hidroelectrica FB page

BUCHAREST (Romania), May 7 (SeeNews) - Romanian state-owned power company Hidroelectrica said on Thursday it has selected Dentons Europe SPARL as its legal advisor in a planned initial public offering (IPO) of shares.

While the estimated price in the tender was 700,000 euro, Dentons have offered a much lower one, of 429,000 euro ($463,045), Hidroelectrica said in a press release.

Eleven law firms submitted their offers in the tender.

"By signing the legal services contract required for listing, we made sure that we have on our side one of the largest law firms in the world, with extensive experience in public offerings, a suitable partner for a company of Hidroelectrica's caliber," Bogdan Badea, president of the board of directors at Hidroelectrrica, said.

According to Badea, the coronavirus pandemic has not affected Hidroelectrica's plans for listing.

"Hidroelectrica is getting closer to the stage where it will be 100% ready for the IPO procedure. We have the positive opinion of the auditor [...] now we have a legal consultant to be with us in this process that we want to be a successful one. We are going to make a decision very soon regarding the selection of an equity advisor," Badea added.

Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea [BSE:FP], a shareholder in Hidroelectrica, said in late April that the listing of the company is not possible this year due to coronavirus restrictions imposed by the authorities. The IPO is likely to happen next year, but a longer period of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic could delay the process until the first or second quarter of 2021, Fondul Proprietatea said.

At the beginning of April, three companies have signed up in a repeat tender to provide equity advisory services to Hidroelectrica's IPO - Lazard Freres, STJ Advisors Group and Deloitte Consultanta.

The estimated value of the equity advisor contract is $1.75 million, according to the notice published in Romania's electronic system for public procurement, SEAP, on April 7.

In February, local media reported that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is interested in acquiring a 5% stake in Hidroelectrica.

The energy company exited insolvency in April 2017, which paved the way for its listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange which is expected to be the biggest in Romania’s history. The initial public offering of a 10% or 15% stake in Hidroelectrica is expected to raise up to 1 billion euro, the court-appointed administrator of the company said at the time.

Hidroelectrica is 80.06% owned by the Romanian state, while investment fund Fondul Proprietatea owns 19.94%.

Hidroelectrica has in its portfolio 204 hydro power plants with a total installed capacity of 6,444 MW.

Dentons Europe SPARL is the Romanian subsidiary of multinational law firm Dentons.

($=0.9265 euro)

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