September 27, 2012 / 8:27 AM / 8 years ago

Verbund CEO says no plans to exit Turkey -paper

VIENNA, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Austrian energy group Verbund has no current plans to get out of Turkey, its chief executive told a newspaper, following a Reuters report that it was in talks to sell part or all of its business there to Germany’s E.ON.

“There is no question of that at the moment,” Wolfgang Anzengruber said in an interview published in Austria’s Kurier on Thursday, when asked whether the company’s focus on central Europe meant an exit from Turkey is likely.

Last month sources close to the deal said E.ON Ruhrgas was in talks to buy a stake in Turkish firm Enerjisa from Verbund, and could give Verbund assets in hydro power stations along the river Inn in return. E.ON Ruhrgas and Verbund declined to comment at the time.

Verbund, which specialises in hydro power, co-owns Enerjisa with Sabanci Holding.

Enerjisa said last year it had dropped a plan to buy a power distribution network in Istanbul after Verbund backed away from the investment, and one source told Reuters that Verbund could not keep up with Enerjisa’s ambitious investment plans.

Anzengruber said Verbund, which is under pressure from deteriorating economies in its core markets, still aims to inject another 500 million euros ($642 million) into Enerjisa by 2015 to help fund the building of 12 hydropower plants in Turkey.

“We have an investment deal with our Turkish partner Sabanci to inject 1.4 billion euros of capital into the joint venture. We have already paid 900 million, and 500 million will follow in the years ahead,” he said. ($1=0.7788 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Greg Mahlich) (georgina.prodhan@thomsonreuters.com; +431 5311 2256; Reuters Messaging: georgina.prodhan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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