WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ ¡ª The American investment fund CAPPA Fund III announced today that it has acquired the rights to 647 shares (34%) of TransPetrol a.s. from Quick Power Plant SE (QPP) for an undisclosed amount. TransPetrol is the operator of the portion of the Druzhba (or 'Friendship') pipeline that crosses the Slovak Republic.
Mr. Steve Richards, Managing Director of CAPPA Fund III, called the acquisition a strategic investment decision, and said, "This signals our commitment to further investment in this important region. We see the potential for regional growth in the energy sector, and expect to play a role in it."
Although the Slovakian Government disputes QPP's claim to the shares, which constitute a 34 per cent stake in TransPetrol, CAPPA Fund III says it is satisfied that QPP's claims are legitimate. "We have examined the history of QPP's acquisition of the shares, and are convinced by legal counsel that QPP is the sole owner of these shares. We look forward to working with the Slovakian Government and the EU to resolve this issue as quickly as possible, so we may proceed with our future investments," said Mr. Richards.
Quick Power Plants, a Czech company, purchased the shares from a consortium of Slovak investors, who had purchased them in 2001. The original acquisition was carried out as a result of an execution proceeding. Public records show that the sale was conducted according to the law, in a public tender and transparent bidding process; but the Slovak Government tried to annul the sale after it was approved, and seized the shares. The investors have won several court cases, including a constitutional court ruling that the original acquisition was legal, and a commercial court ruling ordering the Slovak Government to return the shares to the investors.
Mr. Richards expressed confidence that this dispute could be solved. "We are already looking forward to exploring our next investment in the region, and expect to be able to settle this dispute amicably."
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SOURCE CAPPA Fund III