News that Prague-listed utility ČEZ will sell one or two coal-burning power plants with a capacity of 800–1,000 MW in a bid to end a European Commission probe into suspected anti-competitive behavior (and in line with plans to divest from carbon-emitting power generation capacity) has been welcomed by the markets. State-controlled ČEZ — which denies any wrongdoing — had faced a fine of up to 10 percent of its 2008 global turnover of $5.2 billion.
Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač, the owner of leading lignite miner Czech Coal, said in an interview for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes published Thursday — his first in 15 years — that no other party, including rival Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), will outbid him for state-c0ntrolled utility ČEZ’s coal-fired Počerady and Chvaletice plants.
Czech energy group Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) is considering using coal from its Mibrag mine in Germany keep its Elektrárny Opatovice power station running following the withdrawal of mining company Czech Coal from a supply contract, the daily E15 reported on Monday.
Prague City Council this week finally approved a resolution of intent to buy a minority stake in the murky municipal waste firm Pražské služby from the Cyprus-registered firm Soranus Limited. At the same time, Deputy Prague Mayor Pavel Richter (TOP 09) and Councilor Radek Lohynský (ODS) were charged with making it happen, with the latter to take the lead, according to a document obtained by Czech Position.
The auction of frequency for a fourth mobile operator has already created a lot of excitement in the Czech Republic, with the telecoms regulator and industry minister dropping hints it could shake up the cozy trio of existing telecom companies. But apart from local financial group PPF and talk of its paving the way for a Chinese firm to enter the European mobile market through this country, others appear reluctant to answer the call.
A former advisor of Public Affairs (VV) chairman Radek John and collaborator with de facto party leader Vít Bárta, the former political commentator and pundit Jan Kubáček, appears to be in the race to head President Václav Klaus’ new institute. The behind-the-scenes backer and sponsor of the new institute is set to be the richest Czech and main shareholder in the Dutch-based PPF group, Petr Kellner.
The PPF Group, founded and owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, plans to sell its 49 percent stake in Generali PPF Holding, an insurance joint venture PPF established with Generali, which owns the majority stake. Kellner is also in talks to sell his stake in the Russian insurer Ingosstrakh to VTB bank for Kč 10 billion, the server regiony24.cz reported Wednesday. Generali PPF Holding is currently valued at a little over €23 billion.
Outspoken Student Agency founder Radim Jančura has sought to bust Czech Railways’ virtual monopoly and often clashed with local and national politicians, and administrations, not always keen to see a new competitor on the block. In an exclusive interview, he attacks the Czech competition office for failing to perform its anti-graft role, and points an accussing finger at the ministers of labor and finance – sparking legal proceedings against him for slander.
Co-owner of Czech investment group J&T, Patrik Tkáč, says that it will not be matching PPF’s cash injection into energy group Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) resulting in a dilution of J&T and group manager Daniel Křetínský’s stakes.
The European Commission has fined the Czech energy group Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) and EP Investment Advisors a total of €2.5 million for blocking an antitrust raid by EU regulators in late November 2009.