May 28, 2014 / 2:33 PM / 4 years ago

Romania's Hidroelectrica to exit insolvency in May-June 2015: manager

BUCHAREST, May 28 (Reuters) - Romanian state-owned hydro power producer Hidroelectrica will likely exit insolvency in May-June 2015 and list a minority stake in the second half of that year, its manager Remus Borza told Reuters on Wednesday.

Hidroelectrica, the European Union state’s largest and cheapest power producer, was forced into insolvency in 2012 by a severe drought and a string of loss-making contracts, a state it exited last year. But an unfavourable court ruling earlier this year pushed it back into insolvency.

The leftist government was supposed to launch an initial public offering for 15 percent of the firm - which produces a third of Romania’s electricity - this year, a listing agreed under an aid deal led by the International Monetary Fund.

“The company will exit insolvency this time next year, in May-June,” court-appointed manager Borza said. “The listing looks likely somewhere in the second half.”

Gabriel Dumitrascu, the head of the energy ministry’s privatisation department, told Reuters he did “not anticipate a shorter deadline” for the firm to exit insolvency.

Last month, investment fund Fondul Proprietatea estimated the best case scenario for Hidroelectrica to exit insolvency would be the end of this year. Fondul has a 20 percent stake in the firm which it values at 473 million euros ($643.97 million). ($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Matthias Williams)

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