2 Generator Sales Approved

The government's markets regulator said Friday that it had registered the share sales of power producers OGK-1 and TGK-10, officially marking the start of the placings.

Former electricity monopoly Unified Energy System, the state-controlled parent company of both firms, has already begun the sale of the state's 27.75 billion shares in OGK-1, and is accepting bids for them until Feb. 21.

UES said separately on Friday that it would accept bids for TGK-10 until Feb. 25.

In addition to the sale of the government's stake, OGK-1 is issuing no more than 22.5 billion new shares, which equal 50.4 percent of the company before the share sale and 33.51 percent after.

By buying up the government's stake and all the new shares, a strategic investor can secure around 70 percent of OGK-1.

The completion of the sale, which is expected to raise some $7 billion, is expected by March 13, becoming this year's largest deal in the electricity sector.

Sources close to the sale of OGK-1 have said several foreign firms are interested in acquiring it, including Finland's Fortum, France's EDF, Germany's RWE and AES of the United States.

TGK-10, which has a generating capacity of 2.8 gigawatts, provides power and heat to several regions in western Siberia, the country's key oil-producing area.

TGK-10 plans to hold a secondary offering of 633 million shares in February, equal to 136.55 percent of its share capital before the sale and 57.73 percent thereafter.

At the same time, TGK-10's parent company, UES, will sell the government's stake in the generator, equal to 255.56 million ordinary shares.