Draft bill for DEPA’s sale-related split expected early December

An energy ministry draft bill for public gas utility DEPA’s split into two companies, DEPA Infrastructure and DEPA Trade, as part of its privatization procedure, is expected to be submitted to parliament within the first ten days of December, following yesterday’s Competition Commission approval of the split.

The commission’s decision on the split, the final obstacle before stakes are offered to investors, may have come as relief to the energy ministry and DEPA’s board, but ministry officials, now penning the draft bill, remain undecided on jobs at the gas utility and its subsidiaries.

DEPA’s own team is not so much of a concern. The ministry’s job concerns are mostly focused on the futures of some 150 sub-contractors working on a virtually permanent basis with DEPA and associated firms.

According to sources, the majority of DEPA staff wishes to be transferred to the split’s resulting DEPA Infrastructure company, to remain under the control of the Greek State.

According to Greece’s 2019 budget, submitted to parliament yesterday, a 14 percent stake of DEPA Infrastructure will be privatized along with a 50.01 percent stake of DEPA Trade.

“The basic idea is to split the company into two parts, offer a majority stake of the commercial division to a strategic investor and maintain the Greek State’s strong presence in the distribution network,” energy minister Giorgos Stathakis told reporters.