The long awaited IPO of Romania’s main hydropower producer, Hidroelectrica, is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2017, Greg Konieczny, fund manager of Romanian restitution fund Fondul Proprietatea, said on October 31.
Hidroelectrica’s listing has been repeatedly delayed as the country only wrapped up its insolvency procedures in June this year, after winning court trials with the private energy traders that had caused losses estimated by the court-appointed manager at €1.1bn.
“The listing process is progressing slowly according to our standards… our timetable targets this transaction in Q2 2017,” Konieczny told journalists in Bucharest.
However, he pointed out that the decision was not only up to the Fondul Proprietatea. “[The IPO] will also depend on the new government because the process not been moving at the right pace so far. A lot of decisions that should have been taken already have been delayed,” he added.
“We hope that after the elections we will have a commitment from the new government to continue and make it a real success.”
Hidroelectrica is still managed by an interim board, and the selection process for a new board in line with the corporate governance code has started at the Ministry of Energy, Konieczny told journalists in Bucharest. 84 candidates submitted applications, and according to Konieczny, “we see high chances to end up with a very professional and reputable board before the elections”.
The next step will be for the new supervisory board to appoint the executive managers, a process that should take two to three months.
Hidroelectrica’s results have improved dramatically. The company reported an estimated gross profit of RON1.13bn (€250.8mn), 30% up on the year, in January-September.
Fondul Proprietatea is also hoping for a government decision on the listings of other major companies, such as Bucharest Airports, Constanta Port and salt monopoly Salrom, all of which Konieczny says could be listed.
Romania’s ministries of economy, energy and transport have already drawn up a tentative schedule for the sale of minority stakes in large-sized state-owned companies, in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos in October. However, Konieczny notes that the document only states their intentions and no formal decisions have yet been made.