Regulator clears takeover of Tigáz clients by Főgáz
The Hungarian Energy and Utilities Regulatory Office (MEKH) has approved an offer by state-owned Főgáz to take over the retail clients of regional gas distributor Tigáz, making it the sole provider of household gas in the country, the First National Utilities Company (ENKSZ) told Hungarian news agency MTI.
Főgáz is the bridgehead onto the gas market for ENKSZ, which was recently established by the state to act as an efficient, predictable and cheap utilities provider.
Főgáz will take over Tigázʼs retail clients by October 1.
Főgáz said earlier it was prepared to take over Tigázʼs 1.2 million clients, after the company requested the withdrawal of its "universal service provider" licence to supply gas to households.
Universal service providers supply gas using a price structure and level controlled by the state.
Tigáz said it took the step to "coordinate its business activity with the regulatory environment and reduce the unfavorable effects on its business activity".
Tigáz had an operating loss of HUF 4.9 bln last year, following a round of government-mandated utilities price cuts for households.
Főgáz also recently won the right to take over the retail customers of the local gas units of Germanyʼs E.ON and Franceʼs GDF Suez, after they turned in their universal service provider licenses.
With the takeover of the Tigáz clients, the number of households Főgáz supplies will rise to 3.3 mln
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