DEPA Trade sale launch not expected until early summer

A tender to offer investors a majority stake in DEPA Trade, a prospective company to emerge from a split of gas utility DEPA into two entities, will not be launched until early in the summer, either in June or July, sources have informed.

A draft bill prepared by the energy ministry for DEPA’s split into DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure ahead of the utility’s privatization will offer a three-month period from the time of its ratification for the establishment of the two new units, sources informed.

The draft bill is scheduled to be submitted to parliament on February 28 and should be ratified by early March.

Once the new firms are established, investors will be offered a 50.1 percent of DEPA Trade, while, at a latter date, a 14 percent stake of DEPA Infrastructure will also be placed for sale.

The draft bill’s details also include directions for a merger of DEPA and its EPA Attiki gas supply subsidiary covering the wider Athens area for the establishment of DEPA Trade. This new company will take on all of the gas utility’s wholesale and retail gas activities, as well as its international gas supply agreements.

The DEPA board has also commissioned a consulting firm to prepare a five-year business plan, a necessary inclusion into a data room to be made available to prospective DEPA buyers, sources informed.