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Donbasenergo may change owner, media report

Donbasenergo may change owner, media report

13 July 2018

Donbasenergo (DOEN UK), Ukraine’s fifth largest operator
of coal-fired thermal power plants, is in the process of changing its owner,
the epravda.com.ua news site reported on July 12, citing its sources. The
company’s current owner of a 60.8% stake, Energoinvest-Holding, is very close
to finalizing a deal selling the stake to a company controlled by Maksym
Yefimov, a Poroshenko Bloc MP. Rumors that Yefimov, a businessman involved in
wind energy, has taken control over Donbasenergo first emerged in February 2018
after his business associate, Andriy Serhiyenko, was nominated to the company’s
supervisory board by a key shareholder.

 

Recall, Energoinvest-Holding privatized a
60.8% stake
in Donbasenergo for UAH 719 mln in
2013. The official owner of the holding was Igor Humeniuk, a Donetsk-based
businessman. In 2016, Humeniuk officially sold his stake in the holding to
American Robert Bensh and Greek citizen Andreas Cerny, who was born in Ukraine
and represents Donbas business. Throughout these transactions, Ukrainian media
linked the holding to Oleksandr Yanukovych, a son of the former Ukrainian
president.

 

Alexander Paraschiy: Since its
privatization in 2013, speculation has persisted that those declaring their
ownership in Donbasenergo are frontmen for Yanukovych, which gave the company a
poor reputation. The company’s official takeover by a businessman close to the
current power brokers may improve its reputation, but it won’t have any direct
effect on its business.

 

With the Russian occupation of part of the Donetsk
region in 2014, Donbasenergo lost control of its biggest and most efficient
asset, Starobeshivska Power Plant, leaving it with the smaller and inefficient
Slovianska Power Plant located on the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk
region. This power plant is dependent on anthracite coal, which is not mined on
Ukrainian-controlled territory and can only be supplied from the occupied
districts, or imported from Russia or South Africa. Therefore, whoever ends up
owning the company will inherit the headache of having to secure fuel and
consider remodeling it to burn other types of coal, a complicated and expensive
endeavor.

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