PRAGUE, June 23 (Reuters) – The Czech government, a
70-percent owner of electricity producer CEZ, replaced
three members of the firm’s powerful supervisory board at an
annual general meeting on Saturday, a company spokesman said.
Changes to the board follow a parliamentary election last
year in which the ANO movement of Andrej Babis won the largest
share of the vote and Babis became prime minister.
Babis has long been critical of the way the largest listed
Czech firm with market capitalisation of $13.5 billion is being
The annual meeting recalled supervisory board chairman
Vaclav Paces and two other members appointed by the previous
government, in which ANO was junior partner to the centre-left
Social Democrats, to the 12-strong board.
It appointed former central bank board member Lubomir Lizal,
senior Finance Ministry official Karel Tyll and CEZ audit
committee member and former consultancy KPMG executive Otakar
Hora, a CEZ spokesman said.
The appointments tilt the balance of power on the board
toward the current administration.
The supervisory board appoints and recalls the board of
directors at CEZ, which has been led by Chief Executive Daniel
Benes since 2011.
Benes has been pushing for a restructuring at CEZ which
would spin off the firm’s energy services, renewable plants and
possibly distribution asset units into a separate entity while
the government would take full control of a part of the firm
that would keep nuclear and lignite power plants.
The state-owned part would be in charge of building new
Babis has been cool on the idea, which has not been put to
any shareholder vote.
Babis was appointed prime minister this month for the second
time and is building a coalition with the Social Democrats,
after his previous one-party cabinet appointed in December last
year lost a vote of confidence in parliament.
The annual meeting also approved a 33 crown dividend per
share on 2017 earnings.
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka)