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Bulgaria OKs Mechel acquisition of Russe heating utility stake

Date: 17.12.2007

Bulgaria's competition watchdog said on Friday it would allow Russian mining and steel conglomerate Mechel to acquire 49% of the shares in the power plant in the town of Russe on the Danube in northern Bulgaria.

The proposed deal would not have any negative impact on the central heating or electricity market in Bulgaria, the Competition Protection Council said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Bulgaria sold its full stake in the utility, which owns and operates the power plant in the city, to Slovak power utility Slovenske Elektrarne for EUR 85,1 M.

Under the terms of the contract, Slovenske Elektrarne cannot sell a majority stake in the company in the first three years after acquisition without the accord of the Bulgarian government.

Additionally, it cannot shut down the power plant, nor cut its payroll during the same period.

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