Bulgaria: CEZ Distribution Bulgaria’s plan for skipping 2020 dividend

, SEE Energy News

In 2020, CEZ Distribution Bulgaria, a part of Czech energy company CEZ, recorded a net profit in the amount of 19.4 million euros, compared to 9.6 million euros recorded in the previous year. The company’s operating revenues rose to 190.6 million euros in 2020 from 184.8 million euros in 2019. Operating expenditures dropped to 169 million euros from last year’s 174 million euros.

The management of electricity distributor CEZ Distribution Bulgaria, is planning to skip the distribution of dividends for 2020, the same they did in the previous year. The company’s shareholders will vote on this proposal at the next general meeting scheduled for 22 July.

In February 2018, Czech energy company CEZ agreed to the sale of its Bulgarian assets, including CEZ Distribution Bulgaria, to local company Inercom for an undisclosed sum, but the media speculate that the amount is around 320 million euros. However, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) prohibited the sale of CEZ’ Bulgarian assets to Inercom because this sale agreement would lead to the establishment of a dominant position, that would affect the competition on the market. In April 2019, CEZ terminated the sale agreement with Inercom and started negotiating the sale with the largest public holding company in Bulgaria – Eurohold. In June, CEZ agreed to sell its Bulgarian assets to Eurohold for a sum of 335 million euros. In October same year, the CPC once again prohibited the sale of CEZ’ Bulgarian assets. However, in August 2020, the Sofia Administrative Court cancelled the decision of the CPC and returned the case to the regulator in order to reassess the proposed deal in line with the new court-prescribed guidelines. Subsequently, in October, CPC granted Eurohold the permission to acquire Bulgarian assets of Czech energy group CEZ. The acquisition should be completed within the first half of 2021.