Czech energy company EPH selling stake in EP Infrastructure to Macquarie

Czech energy company EPH is close to selling a stake in its subsidiary EP Infrastructure (EPIF) to the infrastructure arm of Australia’s Macquarie.

This after scrapping plans to float the gas shipping and heating business on a European stock market.

EPH is reportedly selling a 30% stake after Macquarie offered a better price than EPH would achieved in an initial public offering (IPO) that could reportedly have raised 1.6 billion euros for EPIF’s owners. EPIF was reportedly valued at between about EUR5bn and EUR7bn ahead of the IPO.

The company has grown via acquisitions in recent years into one of central Europe’s largest power companies. It agreed recently, for example, to buy loss-making German lignite coal mines and associated power plants from state-owned Swedish utility Vattenfall. Macquarie had also been in the bidding.

EPIF made a net profit of EUR622.7m last year, of which EUR288m is attributable to shareholders, on sales of EUR3.3bn. Total assets reached EUR9.7bn.

Sale proceeds from EPIF would go to EPH, which said it will use the money to buy back EPH shares from Biques Limited, a passive investor. EPH is two-thirds controlled by Chairman Daniel Kretinsky and investor Patrik Tkac.

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