Press Releases

IFC Helps Privatize Albania’s Electricity Distribution Company to Improve Power Supply

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Tirana, Albania, March 11, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, advised the government of Albania on the privatization of the Electricity Distribution Company of Albania (OSSH), which will help increase the supply of electricity in the country.

The government of Albania today signed a contract for the sale of 76 percent of the shares of OSSH to Czech power utility ČEZ. IFC advised the government on the unbundling of the company, structuring the transaction, and executing an open, transparent and competitive bidding process.

ČEZ was selected as the winning bidder in October 2008. The decision was confirmed by the government after further consultations. The value of the contract is €102 million. The privatization demonstrates how transactions run professionally by a committed government can attract serious investors despite the global financial crisis.

“We are sure that ČEZ will significantly improve the supply of electricity in Albania, which will lead to increased customer satisfaction” said Genc Ruli, Albania’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Energy. “The selection of ČEZ and the bidding process were conducted according to international best practice. We are very satisfied with our cooperation with IFC.”

Vladimír Schmalz, ČEZ’s director of mergers and acquisitions, added: “ČEZ Group has long-term and deep experience with distribution companies restructuring in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. We are happy to offer this know-how for the benefit of the Albanian electricity distribution sector.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “The privatization of OSSH is the result of an advisory effort to ensure a fair and transparent process, building on our previous work with the government. The contract award to ČEZ is another major milestone in improving the economic and social well-being of Albania and its citizens.”

The Albanian government and IFC have been working together to improve the country’s infrastructure since 2006, drafting and approving the new Concession Law. Since then IFC has also advised on the development of the Ashta hydropower plant, the first in the region to follow best practice for open competitive bidding and for addressing social and environmental concerns.

IFC’s advisory work on infrastructure in Southeast Europe is part of a program jointly funded by the governments of Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States. A portion of the project’s costs was also financed by DEVCO, a multi-donor facility established by IFC and the
United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

About CEZ
CEZ is the leading Central European utility, with almost 7 million customers and a generation portfolio of more than 14,300 megawatts of installed capacity in nuclear, coal, or hydro power plants. CEZ Group ranks among the top 10 largest utility companies in Europe. Apart from its home base in the Czech Republic, CEZ Group is also active in more than 10 countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. For more information, visit