DEPA leadership set for appointment, new privatization model near

The imminent appointment of Konstantinos Xifaras, a former managing director at gas grid operator DESFA, as chief executive of gas utility DEPA, and Giannis Papadopoulos, previously the managing director at venture capital firm Attica Ventures, as DEPA’s new company president, marks the first step towards a revision of the utility’s privatization plan, including related legislation.

Privatization fund TAIPED is expected to meet today or tomorrow to endorse DEPA’s new two-pronged leadership. An extraordinary shareholders’ meeting will immediately follow at DEPA for the duo’s approval.

The country’s previous Syriza administration had ratified legislation for a DEPA split plan entailing the establishment of two new corporate entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure. The plan was to sell a majority stake of DEPA Trade followed by a minority 14 percent stake in DEPA Infrastructure.

However, the recently elected conservative New Democracy government’s energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has implied a more aggressive DEPA sale plan will be adopted to offer investors majority stakes in both the utility’s trade and network divisions.