DESFA tender bidders granted access to operator’s virtual data room

The two remaining bidding formations in a renewed tender offering a 66 percent stake of DEFSA, the natural gas grid operator, have been granted access to the sale’s VDR (Virtual Data Room), enabling both participants to make financial, technical and legal assessments of the operator ahead of their binding second-round bids.

Confidentiality agreements were signed before the two bidding teams, from a starting field of six, were granted access, as of today, to the operator’s VDR.

Joining forces for the DESFA tender, Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas, Belgium’s Fluxys and Dutch operator Gasunie are one of the two remaining participants. The other is Regasificadora del Noroeste, a Spanish entry bidding alone.

The tender has essentially hit the final stretch now that the VDR has opened for the second-round qualifiers.

TAIPED, the state privatization fund organizing the tender, is aiming for completion of the  assessment stage within December. This would enable TAIPED to set a late-December deadline for binding bids. If so, a preferred bidder could be declared before the year is out or early in 2018.

TAIPED, the state privatization fund, and ELPE (Hellenic Petroluem), which holds a 35 percent stake in DESFA – the Greek State is selling the other 31 percent – are awaiting evaluations of the operator from consulting firms they have commissioned.

Earlier this week, pundits warned that the tender stands little or no chance of being completed by the end of this year, which is the target.