Paris / Prague The Czech investor group Daniel Křetínský of the Energetic and Industrial Holding (EPH) is interested in buying two of the last coal-fired power stations in France. Referring to his sources, it was written by the French newspaper Le Monde on Thursday. Officially, however, no group has confirmed it. Křetínský recently bought a stake in Le Monde.
"We do not comment on speculation about our alleged takeover intentions," said EPH spokesman Daniel Castave on Thursday.
According to Le Monde, Křetínský wants to acquire the French assets of the German group Uniper, which mainly operates a coal-fired power station in Gardanne in the south of the country and the second in Saint-Avold in the east. There are also two gas stations in Saint-Avold, the newspaper said.
Křetínský bought part of the company, which controls the French Le Monde. His share in the magazine is minimal
"The Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský explains his interest in investing in Le Monde, in particular by promoting" press support. "According to him, it should not be a lever for investment in the energy sector in France. prevents EPH, the presiding group, looking for opportunities on the French market, "the letter writes.
He relied on earlier assumptions that Křetínský's interest in the document is in fact an attempt to penetrate the French market and seek a state stake in the energy company Engie. Křetínský himself, however, recently ruled out an interview with the French newspaper Les Echos.
Uniper in France, according to Le Monde, also has several solar and wind stations and an electricity supplier for small and medium-sized businesses.
"But EPH is not the only bidder, interest has manifested a lot of investment funds and the battle is not over yet," the newspaper said.
He also recalled that Uniper and other coal-fired power plants in the country should be shut down by 2022 as President Emmanuel Macron had committed himself during the election campaign and in October the closure plan was also confirmed by the Minister for the Environment. "This policy decision and uncertainty about compensation will probably lower asset prices," Le Monde said.
According to him, the new owner will have the power to shut down the power plant or convert it. For example, the Gardanne power plant has invested in biomass in recent years and the plant in Saint-Avolde wants to switch to natural gas.
The energy sector in France is dominated by giants Total, Engie and EDF. Křetínský said he did not see a great opportunity for his team in France and that he is not planning to take part in the privatization of a part of Engie, which is due to take place in the coming months, nor to enter GRTGaz in the capital, Le Monde said.
"But that does not prevent him from thinking about the future." According to our information, Daniel Křetínský met with Patrick Pouyanne, general manager of Total, and spoke to him about Engie's future when the team was split, "wrote Le Monde . This scenario, however, remains a fiction. "Pouyanne, in all honesty, has excluded the possibility of taking part in any such action," the diary concluded.