The minority holding in Enefit Green, the renewable energy subsidiary of state owned Eesti Energia, could well be listed on the Estonian stock exchange next year, according to Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste.
This echoes comments made by Eesti Energia chief Hando Sutter last week as reported on ERR News, following the announcement that Enefit Green is due to acquire renewable energy company Nelja Energia, which amongst other operations, holds wind turbines in the same Paldiski location as Enefit.
In an interview with Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht, Minister Tõniste (Pro Patria) said that "The goal is to carry out the IPO of Enefit Green as soon as possible," with the qualification that the Competition Authority would first have to give its consent and other due diligence concerning the merger and IPO would require more time.
The majority shareholder in Nelja Energia was the Norwegian Buskerud County Administration in Norway, via a company called Vardar Eurus AS.
"It [ie. the share listing] could possibly take place in the first half of next year," Tõniste went on, noting that whilst 49% of the company would be privatized first, it might point the way to a further privatization of the entire operation.
Eesti Energia, via the Enefit Green subsidiary, paid €289 million for Nelja Energia's shares which, together with the over €200 million in debt Enefit is also taking on, makes it the third largest copany takeover in Estonian corporate history.
Nelja Energia owns 17 wind farms in Estonia and Lithuania with total capacity of 287 megawatts plus a pellet factory and combined heat and power plant in Latvia and has minority ownership in two biogas stations in Estonia.
Nelja Energia produced a reported 761 gigawatt-hours of electricity from wind in 2017.
Former Olympic yachtsman Toomas Tõniste became Finance Minister in the cabinet of Jüri Ratas in June 2017. His party was formerly known as IRL and recently renamed itself Pro Patria.
Editor: Andrew Whyte