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CEZ appeals antimonopoly ban on the sale of its Bulgarian branch to local Inercom

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CEZ appeals antimonopoly ban on the sale of its Bulgarian branch to local Inercom

Energy group CEZ has said, as quoted by SeeNews on Wednesday, that it has filed an appeal with Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court against the decision of local competition authority (the Competition protection Commission) to ban the deal for sale of the group's Bulgarian arm to local company Inercom. "The appeal was filed August 1," Alice Horakova, CEZ press officer, said in an e-mailed statement in response to a SeeNews enquiry.

Last month, Sofia-based Inercom also said it has filed a complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court against the competition regulator's decision. "We have [...] analysed in detail the reasons for the negative decision of the anti-monopoly authority. We expect a quick and fair decision on the part of the Supreme Administrative Court," Milena Stoeva, chairman of the board of directors of Inercom Bulgaria, said at the time.

On July 19, the Commission for Protection of Competition said it has banned the sale of the assets of CEZ in Bulgaria to Inercom. According to the regulator's analysis, the deal will lead to the establishing of a dominant position, affecting competition. The transaction is of strategic importance for the country and its potential effects would have direct implications for the national security, due to the wide range of activities of the companies being acquired and their importance to the Bulgarian electricity system, the regulator explained.

The contract between CEZ Group and Inercom was signed on February 23. The deal raised concerns about Inercom's ability to finance the acquisition, which resulted in the establishment of a parliamentary ad hoc committee with the purpose of looking into the deal.

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