PPC seeking late revisions to IPTO subsidiary sale plan

Main power utility PPC plans to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting this Thursday for the approval of a new company, Holding Company Energiaki SA, to take on a 51 percent share of subsidiary firm IPTO, the power grid operator, as part of the split and sale plan concerning the operator.

The next step in the procedure will be to list this 51 percent on the bourse and transfer the stakes to the operator’s current shareholders - Greek State (34%), state privatization fund TAIPED (17%), private-sector investors (49%).

This week’s shareholders meeting will serve to actualize the second stage of a complex plan for the split of IPTO from parent company PPC, to be followed by a third stage entailing the Greek State’s acquisition of a 25 percent share of the operator.

At this stage it appears that the administration at PPC, which has never viewed the IPTO plan as favorable for the utility, is seeking to make certain revisions. Following Thursday’s establishment of the holding company, PPC will have two months to decide on whether these revisions, whose details remain undisclosed, will be adopted or not.

According to PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, the revisions will secure majority control of IPTO for the Greek State, regardless of where TAIPED’s 17 percent stake of PPC ends up. The CEO also believes these revisions will provide greater benefits to PPC.

PPC officials fear that if TAIPED, the privatization fund, ends up selling its 17 percent share of the power utility then the Greek State will lose the 51 percent majority control of IPTO, which is the plan’s intenion. The energy ministry has rejected the concerns, contending that even though the holding company’s shares will be transferred to TAIPED, these will represent a different asset category. Even in the event that PPC’s 17 percent is sold by the privatization fund, it will maintain 17 percent stake of the holding company, which represents roughly 8.5 percent of IPTO, energy ministry officials have contended.