EDF To Complete Talks For Control Of Slovakian Utility

The French state-owned Electricite de France may complete talks to buy a forty nine percent stake in SSE, one of Slovakia's three state owned regional electricity distributors, as early as tomorrow, a Slovakian government official has said. The French utility is competing with Italy's E-NOI for the management control of the utility, which is located in central Slovakia. The Privatisation Ministry spokesman Robert Merva said in an interview that talks with E-NOI will not continue. “The government's sale adviser will talk to EdF on outstanding details,” Merva said. “The (evaluation) committee will meet tomorrow to decide whether to accept the bid.” Slovakia, which hopes to raise a total of $427 million in the three sales, is reorganising the nation's electricity industry to open it up for competition and make it more efficient before joining the European Union, which will probably be in 2004.

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