EC clears EPH’s acquisition of stake in Hungarian power producer Matrai Eromu

The EC has cleared the acquisition of a stake in Hungarian electricity producer Matrai Eromu (Matra) by Czech energy group EPH owned by an entrepreneur Daniel Kretinsky. The EC has said in its disclaimer that even though both Matra and EPH are active on the market for the generation and wholesale supply of electricity in Hungary, the transaction does not raise any competition concerns, as the overlaps between the activities of EPH and those carried out by Matra are not substantial.

In mid-December EPH announced that its EP Power Europe (EPPE), acting in consortium with Status Power Invest, a company controlled by the Hungarian investor Lorinc Meszaros, have signed a contract for the sale of the 72.6%-stake in the Hungarian electricity producer Matrai Eromu (Matra) held by RWE Power and EnBW. The joint venture of the buyers will have a 50-50 ownership split, but not price of the deal was disclosed. The deal is expected to close in Q1’18. Matra is the second largest electricity generator in Hungary with approximately 960MW installed capacity across lignite, biomass, photovoltaic, and gas power source. It owns and operates two open pit mines, Visonta and Bukkabrany, located in the vicinity of the plant. RWE Power and EnBW own 50.9% and 21.7% of Matra, respectively — they have been looking to sell their Hungarian unit at least since April, as part of a major restructuring effort.

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