Enea Slumps Most in Five Years as Vattenfall Selling Stake

Jan 14, 2014 12:18 pm ET

(Updates with stock price, sale details from first paragraph.)

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Enea SA, Poland’s fourth-biggest power utility, slumped the most in more than five years as Sweden’s Vattenfall AB is selling its entire 19 percent stake.

The stock fell as much as 14 percent and closed 13 percent lower at 12.55 zloty in Warsaw, valuing state-controlled Enea at 5.54 billion zloty ($1.83 billion). Vattenfall has enough bids to sell as many as 82.4 million shares at 12 zloty, according to three people familiar with the transaction who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

“It’s a large stake and I suppose that local pension funds are not likely to be active while Polish utilities are not favored by foreign investors,” Dawid Czopek, who helps manage the equivalent of $2.1 billion at Warsaw-based MWealth Management SA, said by phone today. “Given today’s slump, it seems that there are buyers” at a lower price, he said.

Vattenfall, which bought the stake at 20.14 zloty a share in 2008 and became the Poznan-based company’s second-largest shareholder, is withdrawing from non-core areas, including Poland, to focus on Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. In 2011 Vattenfall sold its Polish power and heating units to Tauron Polska Energia SA and Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA for 7.59 billion zloty.

Accelerated Bookbuilding

The final price of the offer isn’t yet set, according to the people. Carina Netterlind, a spokeswoman at Vattenfall, declined to comment as the transaction hasn’t been finalized.

The Polish government, which holds a 52 percent stake in Enea, has twice abandoned efforts to find a strategic investor for the utility, after holding talks with RWE AG in 2009 and Electricite de France SA in 2011. Today’s sale is the biggest share offering in Warsaw since the government sold a 2.4 billion-zloty stake in Energa SA, Enea’s competitor, last month.

Vattenfall’s decision to exit via an accelerated bookbuilding “suggests the government’s plans to find a strategic buyer for the company remain on hold, so there is no takeover story on the horizon,” Bram Buring, a Prague-based analyst at Wood & Co., said in a note today.

Enea shares dropped 14 percent last year, compared with a 7.1 percent decline in the WIG20 index of the country’s largest and most liquid stocks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--With assistance from Maciej Martewicz and Maciej Onoszko in Warsaw. Editors: Pawel Kozlowski, David McQuaid