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Eesti Energia says Nelja Energia purchase has been thoroughly analyzed

Estonian news - eteap November 15, 2018

Baltic News Service. 15th of Nov, 2018

The Estonian state-held energy group Eesti Energia said that the Competition Authority has thoroughly weighed the purchase transaction of renewable energy producer Nelja Energia and the transaction has essentially been completed already a week before the complaint filed by Oleg Ossinovski’s company Skinest Energia that halted the transfer of shares.

Enefit Green, a subsidiary of Eesti Energia, concluded the transaction on November 6 after receiving permission for the merger, thus acquiring 100 percent of the shares of Nelja Energia. Thus, the merger was concluded a significant period of time before the submission of the complaint by Skinest and based on the implementation of preliminary and temporary legal protection by the court, Eesti Energia said.

“The court has granted both the Competition Authority as well as Enefit Green and Nelja Energia time until November 19 to submit their stances. After inspecting the filed stances, the court will decide whether to start handling Skinest’s complaint or not,” Eesti Energia said.

According to the state-held company, the Competition Authority has thoroughly analyzed the transaction of Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Green for the acquisition of Nelja Energia. “Proceedings have lasted for five months, during which the authority has collected information from competitors, customers as well as market organizers and assessed the impact of the transaction on the competition situation. Considering the aforementioned, we are certain that the team of the Competition Authority has not issued the approval to the merger lightly. We will naturally give all necessary explanations to the administrative court and hope that decisions will be made quickly,” Eesti Energia said.

In response to a complaint by Estonian businessman Oleg Ossinovski’s company Skinest Energia, the Tallinn administrative court suspended the decision with which state-owned energy group Eesti Energia was allowed to purchase producer of renewable energy Nelja Energia, the daily Postimees reports.

Skinest Energia, a company held by Ossinovski, a few days after the decision of the Competition Authority submitted a complaint to the Tallinn administrative court for the annulment of the Competition Authority’s decision and identification that the merger of Eesti Energia’s subsidiary Enefit Green and Nelja Energia is prohibited.

Alternatively, Skinest Energia is applying for the Competition Authority to make a new decision with which the merger of the companies would be prohibited or, as another alternative, the Competition Authority would be obligated to continue handling the merger of Enefit Green AS and Nelja Energia AS.

The court with a November 8 order suspended the validity of the Competition Authority’s decision and prohibited the entry into force of the merger of Enefit Green and Nelja Energia until December 10.

“The court issued a deadline for presenting a stance to the Competition Authority, regarding the justification of a preliminary legal protection application, on November 19 at the latest. Until the same deadline, Enefit Green and Nelja Energia also have the right to submit their stance regarding the preliminary legal protection application of the appellant,” Anneli Vilu, spokesperson for the administrative court, said.

After this deadline has passed, the court will issue an order, with which it will be decided whether the complaint will be taken into handling and what the further course of the procedure will be.

The Estonian Competition Authority at the beginning of November gave the state-held energy group Eesti Energia permission to complete the acquisition of the producer of renewable energy Nelja Energia. The competition authority of Latvia endorsed the deal on July 11, while the Lithuanian competition watchdog approved it in August.

The Eesti Energia renewable energy subsidiary Enefit Green at the end of May signed an agreement with Nelja Energia majority shareholder Vardar Eurus AS and minority shareholders, whereby it would buy Nelja Energia for 289 million euros and would also take over Nelja Energia‘s liabilities worth 204 million euros. Eesti Energia later intends to list Enefit Green.

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