Paris / Prague The Danish Křetínský Energy and Industrial Grouping (EPH) group, a Czech investor, is interested in purchasing two of the last few coal-fired power stations in France. Referring to his sources, they wrote on a French daily Le Monde on Thursday. Officially, however, no group has approved it. Křetínský recently bought part of Le Monde's company.
"We do not comment on speculation about our potential acquisitions," writes EPC spokesman Daniel Castave on Thursday.
Le Monde believes that Křetínský wants to acquire German assets of the German group of the Uniper group, which mainly operate in the south of the coal-fired power plant in Gardanne, and in the second part of Saint-Avold in the east. There are also two gas stations in Saint-Avold, said everyday.
Křetínský bought part of the company that controls the French Le Monde. His part in the magazine is minimal
"The Czech billionaire, Daniel Křetínský, explains his interest in investing Le Monde in particular in promoting" press support. "In his view, he should not have been leveraging energy in France, but this does not prevent EPH from leading the group looking for opportunities in the French market," writes the letter.
He referred to previous speculation that Křetínský's interests in this document are in fact an attempt to enter the French market and seek a share of the energy company Engie. However, Křetínský has recently been excluded in an interview with the French day Les Echos.
According to Le Monde, that Uniper is in France, it also owns several solar and wind power plants and one supplier of electricity to small and medium-sized enterprises.
"But EPH is not the only bidder, the interest was expressed by several investment funds and the struggle is not over," said daily.
He also reminded that Uniper and other coal-fired power stations in the country would have to be shut down by 2022, when President Emmanuel Macron had made an election campaign, and in October the Minister for the Environment confirmed the closure plan. "This policy decision and the uncertainty surrounding the compensation will probably reduce asset prices," said Le Monde.
According to him, the new owner will have the right to shut down the power plant or modify it. For example, the Gardanne power plant has invested in biomass in recent years, and the plant in Saint-Avold wants to switch to gas.
In the energy sector in France, the giants Total, Engie and EDF dominate. Mr Křetínský said that he did not see a great opportunity for his group in France and that he did not plan to take part in the privatization of the Engy parts that will take place in the coming months and would not enter the capital of GRTGaz, said Le Monde.
"But that does not prevent him from thinking about the future. According to our information, Daniel Křetínský met with Total Director General Patricks Poyannel and talked with him about the future of Engy in the case of group divisions," wrote Le Monde. However, this scenario is still a fiction. "Pouyanne, frankly, has ruled out the possibility of participating in any such operation," wrote a diary.