Hungarian state-owned power wholesaler MVM said on Tuesday it had purchased an 8.6% stake in electricity distributor Émász.
The purchase comes less than a year after MVM won a tender to buy a 10.5% stake in Elmű, another regional power distributor in Hungary. Both Elmű and Émász are majority owned by a consortium of Germany’s RWE and Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg.
MVM said its move was part of a strategy to be more involved in all segments of energy production and distribution. But the company has come under fire this year, even from Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, for being too large and for some restrictive business practices.
MVM owns Hungary’s biggest power generator, the Paks nuclear plant, grid operator Mavir and is the country’s biggest power wholesaler. The country’s Energy Office imposed significant market controls on MVM this year to reduce its near monopoly of power wholesale. The government had planned to partially privatize the firm but the global financial crisis put paid to those plans. (Reuters)