Italian power utility Enel has furthered its expansion in central and eastern Europe by winning the battle to acquire a majority share in the Romanian power supplier Electrica Muntenia Sud for E820 million.

Enel has won the call for tenders organized by the Romanian government for the sale of a majority stake in the Electrica Muntenia Sud power distribution company, beating rival offers from numerous other European energy groups.

The price includes both the sale of the shares and a simultaneous capital increase. The closing is expected to take place in the next few weeks, once the Romanian government gives its approval.

EMS serves the capital Bucharest and the surrounding regions of Ilfov and Giurgiu. It has about 2,000 employees, and in 2005 it had revenues of about E398 million and net income of some E20 million.

With this transaction, Enel now serves about 2.5 million customers in Romania: EMS serves more than 1.1 million customers, while its other two companies acquired last year, Electrica Banat (the Timishoara region) and Electrica Dobrogea (the Costanza region), together have 1.4 million customers.