DESFA bids to finally be opened at end of this week

Offers made by two bidding teams to an international tender offering a 66 percent stake of DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, are finally expected to be opened at the end of this week, a month and a half after they had been submitted.

TAIPED, the state privatization fund, has virtually completed its thorough processing and inspections of the offers submitted by the two bidding consortiums, while the participating teams have provided responses as to which respective team member plans to assume the management role, sources have informed.

For quite some time now, officials and pundits have appeared confident the offers may exceed 500 million euros, 25 percent over an offer made by Azerbaijan’s Socar in a previous and unfinished sale attempt.

Seeking to intensify the bidding, TAIPED included a term in the tender that would require follow-up bids if the current offers are not at least 15 percent apart. If this percentage figure is exceeded, then the top bidder will automatically be named the preferred bidder.

Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagás Internacional and Belgium’s Fluxys formed a consortium to submit a joint bid for the follow-up DESFA tender. Another Spanish entry, Regasificadora del Noroeste (Reganosa Asset Investments) joined forces with Romania’s Transgaz and the EBRD, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for the other offer.