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CEO of Czech electricity producer CEZ says company might split into two

Staff Writer |
Czech electricity producer CEZ could split into two parts in the future, one responsible for enlarging nuclear power plants, and the other focusing on new sources of energy, CEO Daniel Benes told Lidove Noviny.

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European utilities have struggled as a result of weak wholesale electricity prices, forcing some such as German groups E.ON or RWE to hive off healthier parts of their businesses.

CEZ's profits have declined since the global economic crisis of 2008-09 and it has been making a push into renewable and other new energy businesses while also selling older coal-fired plants and focusing on upgraded units.

It is also looking to expand its nuclear power fleet but has run into financing issues after failing to secure price guarantees from the state, its 70 percent owner.

Benes told Lidove Noviny that talks with the government on a possible future structure of CEZ, central Europe's largest listed utility, were only just starting.

"Either we find a compromise and we will fulfill all the targets in an optimal way, or the shareholders come to a conclusion that it is better to follow the path on which the company could split for example," Benes was quoted as saying.

"This debate with politicians is only just beginning and it is not clear at all, how it will end."

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