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Gov't Mulling IPO of its Stakes in Telasi
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Feb.'11 / 17:57

Alexander Khetaguri, the Georgian energy minister, said the government was considering initial public offerings (IPO) of state-owned stakes in Russian-controlled electricity distribution company in Tbilisi.

75% of Telasi, the electricity distribution company in the capital city, is owned by Russia’s state-controlled power trader, Inter RAO, with remaining 25% owned by the Georgian state.

“It's likely that Telasi's shares will be registered at one of the international stock exchanges at the end of this year or early next year,” Khetaguri said in an interview with Reuters.

He also said that IPO of 25% of the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC), which operates the North-South Gas Pipeline, transporting gas from Russia to Armenia via Georgia, was also under consideration.

“We are not going to sell a controlling stake [of GOGC]... We are talking about registering 25% of shares on international stock exchange as a part of an IPO process... It may happen next year,” Khetaguri said in an interview with Reuters.

“It's not ruled out that the corporation will issue Eurobonds instead of an IPO,” he added.

The idea of IPO of GOGC’s minority stakes was first voice by PM Nika Gilauri last summer, when the legislative process was underway in the Parliament for removing the North-South Gas Pipeline from the list of “strategic assets”, hence allowing the government to sell it.

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