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Swedish government OKs lignite divestment

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World Coal,

The Swedish government has approved Vattenfall’s divestment of its German lignite assets to Czech energy company, Energetický a prumyslový (EPH), and its financial partner, PPF Investments.

Vattenfall, which is owned by the Swedish government, announced in April that it planned to hand over control of the lignite mines and power plants to EPH, but the Swedish government had come under pressure from environmental groups to reject the proposal and force the utility to close the assets.

The transaction will cement EPH’s position within the lignite mining and power sector in Germany, adding the Vattenfall assets to those it already owns through its MIBRAG subsidiary.

Speaking at the time the deal was announced, Jan Špringl, Member of the Board of EPH, said that EPH was “well positioned to assume the responsibilities related to the ownership of Vatenfall’s lignite assets in Germany in currently challenging market circumstances.”

The deal is expected to be closed on 31 August 2016. It remains subject to merger clearance from the European Commission.

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