UPDATE 1-Romania says Electrica share sale could raise about 435 mln euros

Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:27am GMT

(Adds energy ministry comments, details)

By Luiza Ilie

BUCHAREST, June 26 (Reuters) - Romanian utility Electrica could raise around 435 million euros ($593.1 million) from the sale of a 51 percent stake in a stock market flotation, the energy ministry said, proceeds that are at the low end of a previously indicated range.

The leftist government, which said the sale had attracted bids for three times the amount of stock on offer, has committed to the share sale under a 4 billion euros aid deal led by the International Monetary Fund.

It is the first sale of a majority stake in a state-owned firm via the capital markets after the divestment in 2013 of minority stakes in gas producer Romgaz and power generator Nuclearelectrica. It will also be Romania's first IPO, or initial public stock offering, so far this year.

Earlier this month, the government set a price range of between 11 and 13.5 lei per share for the Electrica offering, meaning the company had expected to raise between 1.95 billion lei ($605.8 million) and 2.4 billion.

Gabriel Dumitrascu, the energy ministry's privatisation head, said the sale could raise around 435 million euros, though a final price for the shares had yet to be announced.

The ministry has asked the group of investment banks organising the sale to raise the allocation to retail subscribers from 15 percent of the shares on sale to at least 20 percent.

"I have asked the lead managers to analyse the possibility of raising the percentage of shares given to Romanian (retail investors) ... by at least 5 percentage points," Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu told a news conference.   Continued...

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