State utility to hold nat’l gas, electricity distributors

Deals

State-owned utility company ENKSZ, which is operating under the new name NKM Nemzeti Közművek, will acquire 100% of the shares of state gas distributor Főgáz through an in-kind contribution of shares and will provide regulated market electricity services nationwide after its unit Démász received the respective universal license, state news wire MTI reported.

The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (MEKH) has given the go-ahead for the transaction, in which the state Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) will swap its 100% stake in Főgáz for shares in NKM Nemzeti Közművek, according to the announcement. The government has declared the transaction of national strategic importance, and it is expected to close by the end of June. 

As a result, NKM Nemzeti Közművek will hold 100% stakes in both national gas distributor Főgáz and regional electricity distributor Démász.

Démász will act as the national state electricity provider after it received a universal service providerʼs license from MEKH on June 1, 2017. The license gives Démász access to a further 4.5 million customers in addition to its present 775,000. 

The state utility company - still under its earlier name ENKSZ - acquired Démász from Franceʼs EDF for HUF 121 billion in February 2017. ENKSZ earlier acquired stakes in the regulated market business of regional electricity distributors Elmű and Émász from Germanyʼs RWE.

Főgáz was established as the national state gas distributor two years earlier and has been supplying 3.4 million retail customers nationwide.

NKM Nemzeti Közművek will be owned 50% by the State of Hungary and MFB, and 50% by the state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) as a result of a series of transactions, the announcement said, without elaborating on the exact distribution of the shares between the state and the development bank.

MVM acquired its 50% stake in ENKSZ in exchange for a loan it granted the latter to acquire Démász in February.

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