Fondul Proprietatea is planning to list at least 15% of the state-owned hydropower producer on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
On Friday, Romanian Energy Minister Virgil Popescu commented on the Fondul Proprietatea’s plan to list at least 15% of Hidroelectrica in Bucharest, without waiting for the government to list the rest. As a reminder, Fondul owns 20% of Hidroelectrica, while the state (Romania) owns the remaining 80%.
Last year, Romania agreed to list at least 15% of Hidroelectrica by June 2023, as part of targets agreed upon with the EU for its post-pandemic recovery and resilience package. This comes on the back of the parliament’s decision in 2020 to put a two-year ban on government sale of shares in state-owned firms, marking a clear change in policy.
The current ban does not allow Hidroelectrica to be listed on the stock exchange through an IPO, but it does allow Fondul to list at least 15% (of its 20%) stake in the company on the exchange. This is another step in Fondul’s plan to push the aforementioned IPO, which Fondul considers essential for Hidroelectrica, as it’s in a great position to benefit from the listing, according to the Fondul portfolio manager Johan Meyer.
He also added that the amount of Fondul’s stake on offer would be determined by market interest and conditions. It should be noted that Fondul’s stake is worth around USD 1.97bn, which accounts for more than half of Fondul’s fund’s USD 3.1bn total value.
It should also be noted that even though the parliament ban does not allow for an IPO, Romanian Energy Minister told Reuters in an interview that they will vote in favour of this decision. Even so, it is up to the minority shareholders to take the listings forward, due to the Romanian parliament’s inability to overturn the ban.