Launching initial public offering of several major state-owned enterprises (SOE) on the London Stock Exchange is back on the Georgian government’s radar, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said on April 12.
The government was considering IPO of the largest state-run enterprises, including of the Georgian Railway, last year, but the plan was shelved citing unfavorable conditions on the international stock markets.
“Situation [on international stock markets] has relatively improved,” PM Gilauri said at a government session, adding that for that reason discussion would now be resumed “in the nearest future” on IPO of state-owned enterprises.
He said placement of eurobonds by these enterprises was also a possible option. The Georgian Railway issued eurobonds worth of USD 250 million with five year maturity in July, 2010.
In October, 2011 Parliament approved a legislative amendment allowing the government to float stakes of state-owned enterprises on international stock markets.
Minority stakes of the Georgian Railway; Georgian State Electric System, which is in charge of power transmission throughout the country; Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC), the company which also operates the North-South Gas Pipeline, transporting gas from Russia to Armenia via Georgia; as well as electricity distributor in capital Tbilisi, Telasi, in which the state owns 24.53% are considered for IPO.
“I want to stress once again that we are talking about selling of minority [stakes of SOE]; neither management of any of these companies will be transferred; the management and majority stakes will remain under the state control,” MP Gilauri said.