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Minority stakes in five power distributors for sale

Ljubljana, 07 November (STA) - Minority stakes ranging from around 5% to 11% in five Slovenian majority state-owned electricity distribution companies are up for sale, with the procedure managed by asset management firm Alta.

Alta has formed consortia of minority shareholders to sell 11.44% of Elektro Maribor, 10.79% of Elektro Ljubljana, 7.9% of Elektro Celje, 7.31% of Elektro Primorska and 5.26% of Elektro Gorenjska.

The shareholders of the non-listed companies will first test interest among potential investors, from which non-binding bids are expected.

Other shareholders will be able to join in to sell their stakes later on, so the entire stake offered for sale could rise, Alta said on Tuesday.

While the state owns 80% of the highly profitable distributors and plans to remain the majority owner in what are designated as strategic companies, the rest is held by private shareholders.

According to news portal Siol, businessman Igor Lah and the companies Adriatic Slovenica, Triglav Skladi, Petrol, KAD, Modra Zavarovalnica and DZS are among the minority shareholders.

Croatian energy company HEP has been mentioned in the media as a potential buyer after it has taken a slice of the Slovenian electricity market a while ago.

Siol reported in August that HEP, which sells electricity produced by the Slovenia-based Krško Nuclear Power Plant in Croatia, had managed to get several large clients in Slovenia, including state institutions, over the past few years.

Meanwhile, Montenegro's electricity companies as well as companies from the region and as far afield as China have been mentioned by the business daily Finance as potential buyers.

The paper said that apart from HEP and the Montenegrin companies, German RWE, Slovenian Interenergo, China State Grid and China Three Gorges plus Italy's Elia and AZA Group can expect to be contacted by Alta.

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