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CEZ says Czech police investigating four of its deals

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 18 Feb 2013 12:35 GMT
Author: Reuters
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PRAGUE, Feb 18 (Reuters) - CEZ <CEZP.PR>, central Europe's largest listed company, said Czech police are investigating four of its deals including the sale of a German coal mine stake and an investment in Albania.

   Responding to a Czech newspaper report on Monday, a spokeswoman for the majority state-owned power utility said police started asking nearly a year ago for information on the cases.

   They also include a supply deal for a temporary spent-fuel storage facility at CEZ's Temelin nuclear power plant and possible violations of procurement law, she said.  

   "We've been continuously giving them all the necessary information they required," Barbora Pulpanova said. "We are not aware of any fault."

   She said she was unable to give further details. 

   The state anti-corruption police unit and municipal police declined to comment.

   One of the probes involves Mibrag coal mines in Germany. CEZ sold its 50 percent stake to co-owner EPH, another Czech energy company, in 2011, and in return received heating company Energotrans. The deal was completed in June 2012. 

   An EPH spokesman said the company had not been contacted by police.

   Another investigation involves CEZ's Albanian distribution unit, which was stripped of its license in January.

   CEZ could lose up to 200 million euros from its Albanian investment and is seeking arbitration against the Balkan state.

   Pulpanova said police had also asked about a contract for the spent-nuclear fuel facility with Hochtief's <HOTG.DE> Czech unit. Hochtief was not immediately available to comment.

    ($1 = 19.0225 Czech crowns)

(Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jana Mlcochova; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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