PPF Partners in Czech energy deal

The CEE-focused private equity house is teaming up with Czech investment company J&T Group to back a spin-off holding company focusing on energy investments.

Central and Eastern European-focused private equity house PPF Partners and Czech investment company J&T Group have jointly acquired an energy business in the Czech Republic.

PPF Partners said in a statement it has bought a 40 percent stake in Energy and Industrial Holding (EP Holding) for an undisclosed sum. It added that J&T Group has acquired a further 40 percent in EP Holding through its private equity business, with former J&T Group partner Daniel Kretinsky buying the remaining 20 percent stake in the business, in addition to the responsibility of managing the firm as its chief executive officer.

EP Holding is a newly-formed holding firm spun-off from J&T Group. It owns more than 20 companies, which span the energy sector, including power generation, heating, electricity distribution, wind and solar power plants and energy trading, as well as investments in the industrial space. In 2008 the companies in EP Holding’s portfolio had combined revenues of CZK 30 billion (€1.2 billion; $1.7 billion) and earnings of CZK 4.3 billion, with a combined generating capacity of 330 megawatts, which it expects to increase to 1,000 megawatts by 2012. The new company has a policy of expanding its portfolio through both acquisitions and greenfield developments.

PPF Partners’ president and chief financial officer Mel Carvill said in a statement the EP Holding deal is the private equity firm’s largest investment since the launch of its first fund.

PPF Partners finished fundraising for this first fund earlier this year garnering €615 million ($915 million) of commitments. The firm is backed by financial services company PPF Group and insurer Assicurazioni Generali.