Bloomberg News

EPH Said to Hire Banks for $2 Billion Loan for SPP Acquisition

January 22, 2013

Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding AS, the Czech utility co-owned by billionaire Petr Kellner, hired banks to arrange 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) of loans for its acquisition of Slovak gas utility Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel AS, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Societe Generale SA and UniCredit SpA are arranging the financing that may be offered to a wider group of lenders this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is private.

The deal comprises 1.3 billion euros of five-year senior secured loans and a 200 million-euro short-term facility that will fund SPP’s payment of a dividend to its shareholders, said the people.

Daniel Castvaj, an EPH spokesman, declined to comment when reach by telephone.

EON SE and GDF Suez SA said on Jan. 15 they agreed to sell their 49 percent holdings in SPP to EPH, the second-largest Czech utility, for for 2.6 billion euros.

EPH, based in Prague, is also bidding for Czech pipeline operator Net4Gas, owned by RWE AG, to gain control over the transit of Russian gas from the east, Daniel Kretinsky, one of the company’s owners, said last month.

EPH reported net income of 8.48 billion koruna ($441 million) for the first nine months of 2012, Castvaj said on Jan. 8.

To contact the reporters on this story: Patricia Kuo in London at; Ladka Bauerova in Prague at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at

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