Czech billionaire Petr Kellner’s energy holding EPH is still relatively small, but that could all change within a couple of months. His joint venture with Daniel Křetínský and the J&T Group is planning its largest acquisition yet: The firm wants to buy Slovak Gas Holding which holds a 49 percent stake and managerial control of the Slovak gas monopoly SPP. The deal should be completed in the spring of 2012. The question remains as to why EPH wants the Slovak gas company.
ČEZ is taking ownership of heat producer Energotrans from Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), which will acquire ČEZ’s 50-percent stake in German miner Mibrag. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but EPH and ČEZ had together bought Mibrag for just under Kč 11 bln. Earlier, EPH was to take control of a ČEZ-owned plant in Chvaletice, but the announced deal is on ice; does it also signal a cooling in ČEZ-EPH relations?
Bargains are to be had from aging German coal-fired power plants says EPH boss Daniel Křetínský boss. Little local interest in the assets mean they could be sold cheap with the Czech group having tens of billions ready to spend.
Czech Coal says current contract prices of coal for municipal heating companies in the Czech Republic are too low and it wants a larger share of profits. Meanwhile, the heating companies charge that the miner is abusing its monopoly position, consumers will face considerably higher bills, and the rise in prices will threaten the viability of the industry.
Czech Position has been closely following the case of the non-transparent brokerage Key Investments to which three Prague district administrations entrusted hundreds of millions of crowns of public funds. As we reported last week, a distrainment order has been placed on part of the Key Investment’s property. Several of the brokerage’s clients have consequently taken legal steps in an attempt to retrieve their money being managed by the troubled firm.
A number of issues in all energy sectors carry over into 2011, with brown coal prices at the top of the list, now that entrepreneur Pavel Tykač has consolidated his hold over miner Czech Coal. But the tender to complete the Temelín nuclear plant and the rising crude oil prices are sure to make a number of headlines before the lights go out on 2011.