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Romania: New package of measures for Hidroelectrica for modernization not privatization

02.Mar 2021.

Currently, the privatization of Hidroelectrica or the sale of any shares owned by the state, are prohibited for a period of two years, namely until the summer of 2022, by a law promoted last year by PSD.

Romanian Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu said that the Government is working on a new package of measures that would unlock the prospectus of listing the state-owned electricity producer Hidroelectrica on the stock exchange. Minister Popescu reiterated the statement of Prime Minister Florin Citu that the law prohibiting the sale of shares in state-owned companies would be repealed, but did not provide details when it would happen.

Minister Popescu said that listing a minority stake in the stock market does not mean the company’s privatization, but the chance to modernize, to make investments, stressing that the state must be the majority shareholder in all companies and companies of national strategic interest.

Hidroelectrica’s IPO has been expected for many years. In April 2012, a consortium made of BRD, Citigroup, Societe Generale and Intercapital Invest was selected to manage the sale of a 10 % stake in Hidroelectrica, but the company went into insolvency a few months later. After Hidroelectrica completed its restructuring process, in January 2014, the Government carried out another selection process and chose Raiffeisen Bank and Morgan Stanley to manage the sale of a 15 % stake in Hidroelectrica through IPO. However, this sale did not take place. Last May, Hidroelectrica selected Dentons Europe as its legal advisor for the upcoming initial public offering of the company’s shares, as well as STJ Advisors Group as an equity adviser to provide consulting services for the planned IPO. Previously in April, Hidroelectrica signed Lazard, STJ and Deloitte as consultants in the process of preparing the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on the stock exchange.