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Newspaper: Estonian state-owned energy co keen to buy Nelja Energia

Estonian news - eteap April 19, 2018

Baltic News Service. 19th of April, 2018

The state-owned Estonian energy company Eesti Energia is interested in buying the country’s biggest wind energy producer Nelja Energia; however, the potential investment of roughly half a billion euros has yet to be endorsed by the government, Postimees said on Thursday.

Sources who talked to the newspaper said that the deadline of bids for Nelja Energia is Friday and that board members of Eesti Energia have been actively communicating with politicians in recent weeks to get their backing for the plan.

The chairman of the supervisory board of Eesti Energia, Vaino Kaldoja, said that the management board and the supervisory board cannot comment on potential interest of Eesti Energia in the acquisition of Nelja Energia at this point because bonds of Eesti Energia are listed on the London Stock exchange.

“There will be a time and we will do it,” Kaldoja said.

Mergermarket reported lately that three or four investors are interested in Nelja Energia, among them at least one investment fund active in London. Postimees has learned, however, that the number of potential buyers is five, including three strategic investors and two funds.

Named as potential strategic investors are Eesti Energia, Fortum, and the Lithuanian state-owned energy company Lietuvos energija. The head of communication at the latter, Laura Sebekiene, said in her response to a question from Postimees that she cannot confirm the information.

The Norwegian municipally owned company Vardar announced in January that it is considering exiting the Baltic market and selling its shares in the wind power developer Nelja Energia.

“The parent company of Nelja Energia AS, Vardar AS, which through its subsidiary Vardar Eurus AS holds 77 percent of the shares in the company, has initiated a process to survey the interest for a sale of up to 100 percent of the shares in the company,” Vardar said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

The survey is part of Vardar’s ongoing review of its structure and exploration of strategic alternatives as referred to in its annual report for 2016 and could lead to some or all of the existing shareholders divesting their shares in the company. As things stand now, there is no precise timeframe within which the decision about the sale is to be made, nor are there any specific potential buyers, Vardar AS CEO Thorleif Leifsen told BNS in January.

Augusta & Co and Superia Corporate Finance have been appointed as financial advisors to this process.

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