Czech CEZ offers Albanian energy distributor for sale.

By bne IntelliNews December 18, 2012
Czech power group CEZ has offered its loss-making power distributing unit in Albania, CEZ Distribution, for sale and potential buyers can express their interest in January 2013, CEZ said in a statement on its website. At the same time CEZ continues to negotiate with the Albanian authorities how to resolve the situation at hand. The Czech company has been locked in a dispute with the Albanian government over tariffs and power imports. The company has been posting losses from its Albanian operations since the Albanian regulator almost doubled the tariffs CEZ Distribution pays to the state-owned electricity company without allowing it to raise prices for customers. CEZ has already taken steps to claim a guarantee made by the World Bank, the company said. Meanwhile, ERE has requested blocking of the bank accounts of CEZ in the amount of ALL 430mn (EUR 3.1mn) following a decision of the Tirana court imposed for CEZ failure to meet contractual obligations regarding investment plan and reduction of losses in the network. CEZ purchased 76% of CEZ Distribution in Albania, formerly known as OSSH, for EUR 102mn in March 2009. Rating agency Moody's has recently estimated that CEZ Group would lose EUR 200mn if it decides to exit Albania.

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