The European Commission (EC) on Monday approved the acquisition of Hungarian power plant company Mátrai Erőmű by Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH) of the Czech Republic, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. Mátrai Erőmű owns and operates a 966 MW mainly lignite-fueled power plant as well as two open pit mines.
As reported in December, Opus Global, a Budapest Stock Exchange-listed company, partnered with EPH, an integrated energy utility in the Czech Republic, to indirectly acquire a 72.6% stake in Mátrai Erőmű. Opus Global is among the interests of Lőrinc Mészáros, the business oligarch and close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Opus said in December that Status Power Invest Kft. and EP Power Europe - the latter a subsidiary of EPH - entered into an equal partnership agreement and established Mátra Energy Holding to carry out the transaction. Status Power Invest is operated by the Status Energy Private Capital Fund, in turn managed by Status Capital Venture Capital Fund Management, in which Opus holds a 24.67% share and Mészáros a 75.33% share.
EPH is engaged in lignite mining, electricity and heat production, distribution and supply, as well as gas transmission, distribution and storage, MTI noted.
The EC concluded that the acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the limited overlaps between the companiesʼ activities.
Mátrai Erőmű is Hungaryʼs second biggest power generator, generating about 15% of Hungaryʼs electricity, according to MTI. Its nameplate capacity is about half of that of Hungaryʼs biggest power generator, the Paks Nuclear Power Plant.