CVC targets another Poland buy after PKP Energetyka purchase: Reuters

Private equity fund CVC Capital Partners is targeting another investment in Poland after its surprise 2 billion zloty ($537 million) takeover of the country’s No.5 power group PKP Energetyka, a director of CVC said.

“We have not said our last word,” Przemek Obloj, a member of CVC’s central and eastern Europe team based in London, told Reuters. “We are currently eyeing one company, but I cannot give more details. We do not limit ourselves to any sector.”

In July, CVC agreed the purchase of PKP Energetyka from Poland’s state railway operator PKP, outbidding state-run utility Energa for Poland’s only energy firm with a country-wide distribution network.

Poland’s main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS), which is leading in opinion polls ahead of a national election due on Oct. 25, wanted to block the sale, deeming it a threat to Poland’s energy security.

But earlier this month, the European Commission approved the takeover.

Some politicians have voiced concerns that CVC could sell PKP Energetyka, which ranks fifth by the amount of energy sold, to another international investor or company outside Poland’s control. But Obloj said CVC plans to keep PKP Energetyka for several years.

“We agreed not to sell the company for four years, unless via a bourse flotation,” he said, adding that even if CVC opts for a flotation this would still likely be on the same timeframe.

“We see significant growth potential in PKP Energetyka,” Obloj added, noting it has around 40,000 clients and a well developed network in cities.

The fund plans to invest up to 400 million zlotys annually in PKP Energetyka’s distribution segment.

It also wants to sell a minority stake of no more than 15 percent to a financial investor and is in talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) , Polish state-run insurer PZU and state investment fund PIR.