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Estonian competition watchdog takes extra time for approving Nelja Energia transaction

Estonian news - eteap July 17, 2018

Baltic News Service. 17th of July, 2018

The Estonian Competition Authority has taken extra time to decide whether it will approve a transaction made by state-owned energy company Eesti Energia, with which the company for 493 million euros is to purchase the renewable energy company Nelja Energiaproducing wind energy in the Baltic states from Norwegian municipal company Vardar Eurus.

The Competition Authority decided to take additional time to determine whether competition on the market could be significantly damaged as a result of the transaction, foremost by way of the emergence or strengthening of a market dominating condition, the Competition Authority said.

In addition, the transaction is also being handled by the Lithuanian competition watchdog. The Latvian Competition Council approved the transaction on July 11.

Eesti Energia announced at the end of May this year that it was planning to buy Nelja Energia for 289 million euros and would also take over Nelja Energia‘s liabilities worth 204 million euros. Eesti Energia is to acquire 100 percent in Nelja Energia from Norway’s Vardar Eurus and other shareholders. After entering into force, the transaction would bring along the sale of all Nelja Energia shares to Enefit Green, a subsidiary of Eesti Energia.

After the acquisition of Nelja Energia, the amount of renewable electricity produced by Enefit Green will almost triple from the present 0.4 terawatt-hours to more than one terawatt hour. Enefit Green last year produced altogether 372 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy.

Enefit Green owns four wind farms with a capacity of 111 megawatts, three cogeneration plants in Estonia and Latvia, one hydroelectric power plant and one solar power plant. Enefit Green produces energy from wind, biomass, water, mixed municipal waste and the sun.

Nelja Energia owns 17 wind farms in Estonia and Lithuania with total capacity of 287 megawatts. In addition, the company owns a pellet factory and combined heat and power plant in Latvia and has minority ownership in two biogas stations in Estonia. Nelja Energia produced 804 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy in 2017.

The transaction concerns 100 percent of the shares of Nelja Energia AS. Vardar AS has agreed, through its subsidiary Vardar Eurus AS, to sell its 77 percent holding of the shares in Nelja Energia . The remaining 23 percent of the shares is acquired from a number of Estonia based minority investors, including Solarcom OU owned by Martin Kruus and Atradius OU owned by Kalle Kiigske, both of whom are members of the Nelja Energia management, and Ivard OU owned by Peeter Mand, Vestman Energia AS owned by Aivar Berzin, JMB Investeeringute OU owned by Juri Mois, HTB Investeeringute OU, Ambient Sound Investments OU, United Partners Investments OU and Kakssada Kakskümmend Volti OU owned by Hannes Tamjarv.

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