Actis Among Investors Interested in CEZ's Turkish Power Venture

(Bloomberg) -- Actis LLP is among investors interested in a Turkish power-distributor owned by CEZ AS and Akkok Holding AS.

“We regularly receive offers for our assets and Actis is among those interested in Akcez,” Ladislav Kriz, a spokesman for Prague-based CEZ, said in emailed response to questions, without giving further details.

The Czech utility, which owns half of Akcez Enerji Yatirimlari AS with Akkok, is scaling back its Balkan operations to focus on its home market and neighboring countries such as Slovakia, Germany and Poland. A purchase by London-based private-equity firm Actis would follow the closing in March of a fund for investments in renewable energy projects and electricity distribution businesses in Latin America, Africa and Asia after it reached $2.75 billion.

Spokespeople at Actis and Akkok declined to comment.

CEZ, the largest power utility in the European Union’s east, has said it is open to selling its assets in Turkey because it is the most-removed from the company’s core businesses.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was hired earlier this year by CEZ and Akkok as they considered options for the power-grid operator, people familiar with the matter said in May. The venture partners may sell their entire holding and don’t want a third shareholder to join the company, the people said at the time.

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Akcez supplies power to 3.4 million people in northwestern Turkey and operates power grids in Sakarya, Kocaeli, Bolu and Duzce provinces. It received a license from the Turkish government in 2009 for $600 million. CEZ, which wrote down 1.3 billion koruna ($60 million) in its Turkish asset value and goodwill last year, is seeking to sell all of its Bulgarian assets after a rapid expansion under the previous management in emerging markets from Albania to Romania.

Actis has raised $13 billion and made investments in more than 200 assets across the the three markets since it was founded in 2004, according to its website. It focuses on consumer, energy, financial services and healthcare among others.

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