Enel closes first phase of Slovakian sale

29 July 2016

Italian utility Enel yesterday closed the first phase of the process to dispose of its 66% stake in Slovak nuclear power producer Slovenské Elektrárne: the sale of its 50% stake in Slovak Power Holding BV to EP Slovakia BV.

The transaction was carried out under a contract signed by Enel and EP Slovakia in December 2015. It follows the transfer to Slovak Power Holding of the entire 66% interest in Slovenské Elektrárne previously held by Enel Produzione, and the receipt of clearance from European Union antitrust authorities.

Of the total price of €375 million ($419 million) for the transaction, €150 million was paid in conjunction with yesterday's sale. The remainder will be paid after the second phase of the disposal process is completed. The second phase of the transaction is expected to close when Enel Produzione exercises its option to sell - a "put option" - or EP Slovakia exercises its right to buy - a "call option" - the remaining securities. This is to take place 12 months after a trial operation permit is received for units 3 and 4 at the Mochovce nuclear power plant, which are currently under construction. These options are currently expected to be exercisable by the middle of 2019, Enel said. The closure of the second phase is also subject to obtaining a final operating permit for the units.

At that point, Enel Produzione would transfer the remaining 50% of Slovak Power Holding to EP Slovakia for €375 million. The total €750 million consideration payable over the two phases is subject to an adjustment mechanism based on parameters including Slovenské Elektrárne's financial position and operating efficiency, developments in the Slovakian energy markets, and the enterprise value of Mochovce 3 and 4.

Following yesterday's transaction, Enel now owns a stake of 33% in Slovenské Elektrárne. Control of Slovenské Elektrárne passes to Slovak Power Holding.

Enel acquired its 66% stake in Slovenské Elektrárne in 2006 for €840 million, agreeing to complete construction of two additional Mochovce units as part of the transaction. It launched a program in nuclear power plant. The Italian utility launched a program in July 2014 to sell its holdings in Romania and Slovakia, as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the group's financial debt.

Slovakia currently has four operating nuclear units - two each at Bohunice and Mochovce. Construction began on Mochovce 3 and 4 in 1986 and resumed in 2008 after a 16-year hiatus. Unit 3 is now expected to start up in 2017 and unit 4 starting up the following year.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News