Monday, June 5

CEZ calls AGM for June 26, company split not on agenda

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PRAGUE — Czech electricity producer CEZ released the agenda of its June 26 annual general meeting on Thursday, which did not include discussion of the government’s stated intention to seek control of the company’s traditional production assets.

Shareholders will vote at the AGM on a proposed record 117 crown ($5.51) per share dividend, the agenda showed. The Finance Ministry, which holds the government’s shares in the 70% state-owned utility, has said it would not bring a counterpropos al.

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The government last year said it intended to take over the country’s main coal and nuclear power plants in an unspecified way to shore up energy security after price swings following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Last week the government approved a draft legal change that would cut the proportion of shareholders needed to approve the restructuring of public companies to 75% of shareholders present at a general meeting from 90% of all shareholders currently.

The proposal, which the government insists is not tailored to CEZ, would make it easier to split up the state utility giant and lower the negotiating power of minority shareholders.

In the two days after the government’s bill, CEZ’s stock slumped by as much as 13%, wiping $3.8 billion off the firm’s market value.

The proposed change needs parliamentary approval, a process expected to take months, and may face challenges from minority investors.

($1 = 21.2420 Czech crowns) (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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