The company intends to divest approximately €5bn worth of assets to eventually reduce its €39.5bn debt pile and fund for growth.

Czech energy group EPH and a Hungarian consortium confirmed to Reuters that they submitted bids for the company, which earlier attracted interest from Finnish energy company, Fortum.

A company analyst told The Wall Street Journal that Enel’s stake in Slovenské could be worth around €2bn.

Enel plans to complete the divestment process in two phases which include initial sale of a part of the stake to the Slovak Government followed by private investors at a later date.

Currently, the government owns 34% stake in Slovenske expressed interest to increase the holding to at least 51%.

However, the government’s desire has prompted state-controlled CEZ to drop out of the competition to acquire stake in Slovenské Elektrárne.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a Enel spokesperson as saying: "CEZ’s decision not to present a binding offer by the expected deadline is not considered by Enel a lack of interest nor is it hampering in any way the disposal process which is going ahead."