CONNECTED ARTICLES

Inercom Bulgaria appeals decision of competition watchdog stopping CEZ deal

Inercom Bulgaria appeals decision of competition watchdog stopping CEZ deal

30 July 2018 | 15:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Today, 30 July 2018, within the statutory time limit, Inercom Bulgaria has filed an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) against a decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition of 19 July 2018, which prohibited the company from acquiring the Bulgarian assets of Czech utility CEZ, the company said.
“We have read the document and analysed in detail the reasons for the negative decision of the anti-monopoly regulator. We expect a quick and fair decision by the SAC,” said Milena Stoeva, Chair of Inercom Bulgaria’s Board of Directors.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Kaloyan Staykov, economist: CPC’s decision to halt CEZ deal is odd

Kaloyan Staykov, economist: CPC’s decision to halt CEZ deal is odd

25 July 2018 | 10:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) to halt the deal for CEZ’s assets in Bulgaria is a strange one, Kaloyan Staykov, senior economist at the Institute for Market Economics, told Focus Radio. Whatever the deal, if the buyer or the acquired company is large, CPC may use it as an argument to stop the deal. CPC is tasked with assessing if the acquisition could lead to a dominant position in the market and distort competition, and the assessment is done with regard to certain limits, namely 40% of the market, Kaloyan Staykov said. He added that CEZ does not have a 40% market share.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Bulgaria’s competition watchdog prohibits the acquisition of local assets of CEZ by Inercom Bulgaria EAD

Bulgaria’s competition watchdog prohibits the acquisition of local assets of CEZ by Inercom Bulgaria EAD

19 July 2018 | 14:35 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) has prohibited Inercom Bulgaria EAD from acquiring the local assets of Czech utility CEZ: CEZ Bulgaria EAD, CEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria AD, CEZ Electro Bulgaria AD, CEZ Trade Bulgaria EAD, Free Energy Project Oreshets EAD and Bara Group EOOD, the regulator said in a statement.
The Commission has found that there is a horizontal overlap between the parties to the concentration in the market of electricity production and wholesale supply from photovoltaic power plants. The transaction would also produce vertical effects on downstream markets, namely: electricity distribution, supply, trade, and coordination services for balancing groups. In the electricity distribution and supply market, the CEZ group has a natural monopoly in the area specified in its licenses. At the same time, CEZ Electro Bulgaria AD and CEZ Trade Bulgaria EAD constitute a substantial market share based on the traded volumes of electricity on the free market, the statement reads.
Based on the overall analysis, it can be concluded that there is a risk that the deal would lead to the creation or strengthening of the dominant position of the merged group. In view of the wide range of services of the companies to be acquired and their importance for Bulgaria’s energy system, there is a reason to assume that this is concentration of strategic importance to the country and its potential effects would have a direct impact on national security. The Commission considers that the existence of significant vertical effects would offer considerable advantage to the merging parties over their competitors, which would hinder effective competition in the analysed markets.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Energy expert: The controversial amendment to the Energy Act concerning regulator’s interference in the CEZ deal poses risks to economy and investments

Energy expert: The controversial amendment to the Energy Act concerning regulator’s interference in the CEZ deal poses risks to economy and investments

1 June 2018 | 15:43 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The controversial amendment to the Energy Act that was adopted hastily to provide the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR) with a possibility to interfere in the deal between CEZ power utility and Intercom will be harmful, it poses risks to economy and investments in Bulgaria, Slavcho Neykov, an expert in energy policies, told Focus Radio.
The amendments were prompted by the need to ensure security of supply, protection of national security and public order, Neykov explained. “The text is filled with contradictions, it is unclear and unfeasible. It does not solve problems, it creates them, and if it is not repealed, there is a real risk that it will not only block transactions but could lead to serious financial repercussions for the state. And it is unfeasible because it introduces obligations to KEVR that the regulator cannot really fulfil – they contradict market principles by obliging the commission to intervene in deals between private entities,” Neykov explained, adding that adopting provisions in any law because of a particular deal is never a good practice. According to the expert, the amendments should be repealed as they could affect the reputation of Bulgaria as a good investment destination, which is not what the country needs now in view of the forthcoming discussions on major investment projects such as Belene NPP.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Energy expert: Over BGN 1 billion at stake in case of arbitration over CEZ deal

Energy expert: Over BGN 1 billion at stake in case of arbitration over CEZ deal

23 May 2018 | 15:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Over BGN 1 billion will be at stake in case of arbitration over the CEZ deal, energy expert Galina Alexandrova said, sharing her position on the matter.
“The most recent example of interference in private companies’ affairs, contrary to EU law, was the political pressure to halt the deal for selling the Czech power utility CEZ’s assets in Bulgaria. After the government backed down from its plans to get involved in the deal, CEZ and the buyer were interrogated by the parliamentary committee on energy, and an ad-hoc committee was set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deal,” said Alexandrova.
“Meanwhile, the Parliament has decided that the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR) will have the power to rule on commercial deals. Transferring these powers to the CEZ deal, which in legal sense was closed with the signing of the contract, would be even a grosser interference in a private company’s affairs. And it will be a trump card for the Czech company, which in case of termination of the deal will file an arbitration case against Bulgaria. The buying company, Inercom, will also request arbitration for costs incurred and lost profits. Thus, the political short-sightedness and indecisiveness can cost over BGN 1 billion, which will be paid from the budget, i.e, by the Bulgarian taxpayers,” the expert commented.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

BSP sends to regulator petition against CEZ deal

BSP sends to regulator petition against CEZ deal

18 May 2018 | 17:43 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has submitted a petition with 200,000 signatures against the announced deal for CEZ’s assets in Bulgaria, Focus News Agency reports. The petition was submitted to the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) because of its new powers to give consent to transactions with assets of energy companies, BSP MP Zhelyo Boychev told reporters. In response to comments from rival party GERB that there were still no criteria for EWRC to stop the deal, Boychev insisted that the regulator had new powers after the latest amendments to the law on energy.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

With 148 votes in favour and 48 abstentions, MPs endorse report of ad-hoc committee on CEZ deal and demand that electricity distribution companies be deemed strategic entities of national security

With 148 votes in favour and 48 abstentions, MPs endorse report of ad-hoc committee on CEZ deal and demand that electricity distribution companies be deemed strategic entities of national security

17 May 2018 | 12:36 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. With 148 votes in favour and 48 abstentions, the Parliament approved the report of the ad-hoc committee on the CEZ deal, Focus News Agency reports. Together with the report, the MPs adopted a draft decision, which instructed the Council of Ministers to carry out an in-depth analysis of the implementation of the government’s targets in the adopted privatisation strategy for the electricity distribution companies. The MPs decided that by 31 December 2018, the government would revise its ordinance on defining strategic sites, entities and activities of national security in the energy sector, including core assets and activities of the electricity distribution companies. The National Assembly decided that within the same timeframe the security services should provide a detailed analysis of the planned sale of CEZ Group companies, and the Bulgarian National Bank should provide information about the commitments made by the Bulgarian banks in the deal.
The ad-hoc committee on CEZ was established by a decision of the National Assembly on 14 March 2018. It was set up in response to a strong public reaction to the decision of the Supervisory Board of CEZ Group, published on 22 February 2018, which agreed to sell its assets to Inercom Bulgaria EAD. The report states that the committee focused its work on two main areas – the privatisation of the majority stake in the capital share of the electricity distribution companies in Western Bulgaria and clarification of all circumstances surrounding the planned sale of CEZ.

Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Zhelyo Boychev, BSP: Committee on CEZ did not answer the questions of who and with what money is buying the assets

Zhelyo Boychev, BSP: Committee on CEZ did not answer the questions of who and with what money is buying the assets

10 May 2018 | 18:20 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The inquiry committee on the sale of CEZ’s business in Bulgaria has failed to answer the questions of who and with what money is buying the assets, committee chairman Zhelyo Boychev, BSP, said. At its last meeting, the committee approved the report on the results of its work, which will be considered by the Parliament, Focus News Agency reports. The task was partially done, according to Boychev. The committee has found some weaknesses in the law and the responsibilities of the institutions. “There is still no closed deal, but in the end the committee was denied information, which I consider to be extremely wrong,” he stated. “I also do not accept that the Bulgarian special services have no information about the progress of or the involved in such deals. […] Without answering the question of who and how is financing the CEZ deal, we cannot be sure who the buyer is,” the chairman said. Then he said that by requesting information, the committee had received a response from only one bank. He thinks that the law on credit institutions should be amended in respect of the term professional secrecy.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Committee chairman says financing institutions did not provide requested information on CEZ deal

Committee chairman says financing institutions did not provide requested information on CEZ deal

8 May 2018 | 16:52 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Financing institutions did not provide requested information about the announced sale of CEZ’s business in Bulgaria, the chairman of the inquiry committee on the sale, Zhelyo Boychev, said after a meeting of the committee, Focus News Agency reports. According to Boychev, the committee cannot give necessary answers to Bulgarian people, as it was denied information on the grounds of professional secrecy. “At present they [Bulgarians] have reason for any doubts and speculation because of the lack of information, which was not provided to us by financing institutions to which we sent letters, including to the Bulgarian National Bank,” he said, adding that the Czech party had the complete information on the deal. According to Boychev, doubts remain about how the Bulgarian institutions paid attention to the sale and how the process could be controlled. He noted that it was not an ordinary commercial deal, as it was about a natural monopoly, a power distributor, and concerned security for Bulgarians and national security. “We have a number of unanswered questions, for example, how a firm of such size and with such assets can acquire such a strategic enterprise,” Boychev commented.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Minister Temenuzhka Petkova: If buyer secures financing, CEZ deal will likely progress towards closing

Minister Temenuzhka Petkova: If buyer secures financing, CEZ deal will likely progress towards closing

18 April 2018 | 14:17 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. If the company seeking to acquire CEZ’s local assets succeeds in securing the financing it needs, the deal will likely progress towards closing, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said after the opening of a conference on Bulgaria’s oil refining industry, Focus News Agency reported. She commented that securing adequate financing was a responsibility of the candidate buyer. She mentioned that there were some indications from the seller that it might be considering negotiations with the bidder ranked second. “This is a procedure conducted entirely according to the rules of the Czech state and their laws. The Bulgarian state has no relation to this procedure,” Minister Petkova told reporters.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Term of inquiry committee on CEZ deal extended till May 10

Term of inquiry committee on CEZ deal extended till May 10

18 April 2018 | 11:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Parliament extended the term of the inquiry committee on the CEZ Bulgaria sale until May 10, Focus News Agency reports. The extension was proposed by the committee itself, as it is waiting for additional information from the Ministry of Energy, the energy and financial regulators, the State Agency for National Security and other state institutions.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Energy minister says Ginka Varbakova will not be the one to technically run CEZ’s operations

Energy minister says Ginka Varbakova will not be the one to technically run CEZ’s operations

17 April 2018 | 17:24 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said that Inercom’s owner Ginka Varbakova would not be the one to technically manage the power distributor’s operations, Focus News Agency reports. Speaking at the last meeting of the Parliament’s committee on the CEZ deal, the minister sought to reassure the people amid the sale to Inercom Bulgaria, saying that the state was controlling and regulating power distribution through the energy regulator. She explained that back in time Bulgaria had decided to privatise that energy segment with clear motives, known to the investors. “Now, when other companies are buying assets, the Bulgarian citizens should know that these companies have the necessary management,” she said.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Milena Stoeva, Inercom Bulgaria: The competition regulator hasn’t yet made a decision on the CEZ deal

Milena Stoeva, Inercom Bulgaria: The competition regulator hasn’t yet made a decision on the CEZ deal

17 April 2018 | 16:22 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) has not as of yet made a decision on the CEZ deal, Milena Stoeva, Chair of the Board of Directors of Inercom Bulgaria, said at the latest meeting of the ad-hoc committee on the CEZ deal, Focus News Agency reports. Inercom Bulgaria’s financial consultant Veselin Zahariev said that in terms of funding, things are moving in a more organised way. In his words, the talks are progressing. “We are waiting for the key moment - the CPC’ decision,” Zahariev commented.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

In a letter to parliament committee, CEZ says it repeatedly proposed to the state to buy assets, but the state was not interested

In a letter to parliament committee, CEZ says it repeatedly proposed to the state to buy assets, but the state was not interested

17 April 2018 | 15:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. In a letter to the Parliament’s committee on the CEZ sale in Bulgaria, the company says that since 2011 it has repeatedly proposed to the state to buy assets, but the state has not expressed willingness. This was stated by the committee’s chairman, Zhelyo Boychev, at the beginning of today’s committee meeting, Focus News Agency reports. CEZ also says that the potential buyers underwent standard checks by the company. The committee has also received a response from the Bulgarian prime minister’s office. It says that no talks have been held with the Czech government or CEZ for acquisition of the assets.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Energy regulator to decide in a month whether to revoke CEZ’ licence

Energy regulator to decide in a month whether to revoke CEZ’ licence

13 April 2018 | 14:45 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. In a little more than a month, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR) will decide whether to revoke the license of CEZ power utility, Commission’s Chairman Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov said in a statement, Focus News Agency reports.
“The experts who have been looking into the documentation related to the revocation procedure of CEZ's licence told me they have completed their work, and on Monday I will issue an order for a working group that will draw up a report. The procedure requires, once the report is made, it should be made available to the KEVR members and then they will make a decision at a meeting,” Ivanov said.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Zhelyo Boychev, BSP: We will ask to extend term for committee on CEZ by a month

Zhelyo Boychev, BSP: We will ask to extend term for committee on CEZ by a month

12 April 2018 | 14:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. MP Zhelyo Boychev said he will most probably ask the Parliament to extend the term of the committee on the CEZ sale in Bulgaria by one month. Until now, the committee has requested information from the prime minister, banks, regulators and the prosecutor general. It has also requested information from CEZ Group about their negotiations and conditions to potential buyers. “We expect answers to many important questions from the institutions,” said Boychev, who is committee chairman and MP for the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), quoted by Focus News Agency. The committee wants to know if there were any talks between the Bulgarian government and the Czech government or CEZ on the local assets of the company. They are also waiting for a response from the Bulgarian Development Bank in connection with the deal, as well as from the energy regulator about CEZ’ investments since 2005.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

PICTURE OF THE DAY
Thaci. Vucic. August 15, 2018;
Thaci. Vucic. August 15, 2018;

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Prize drawing in Q&A game European Test for Masters. July 30, 2018;
Prize drawing in Q&A game European Test for Masters. July 30, 2018;
Home | Services | Archive | Partners | Banners | Radio Adds | About Us | Disclaimer | Contacts |
© 2018 FOCUS Information Agency The content published by Focus Information Agency and the technologies, used on its website, are protected by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act. All the text, audio and video materials, photos, and graphics, published in the database, are property of Focus Information Agency, unless otherwise provided. The USERS and SUBSCRIBERS are under the obligation to use the materials from the database according to Focus Information Agency’s General Terms and Conditions as well as the applicable law of the Republic of Bulgaria.