ELPE, seeking gas entry, wants majority stake in DEPA Trade

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) is determined to bid for a majority stake of DEPA Trade, one of two new corporate entities emerging from a recent split of gas utility DEPA, as part of the petroleum group’s plan to enter the natural gas market, ELPE officials have reiterated just days after a tender offering a 50.1 percent stake of ELPE failed to produce a result.

The ELPE sale attempt’s failure has generated concerns for the ensuing DEPA Trade tender, scheduled to be announced on Monday, as ELPE holds a 35 percent stake in DEPA.

It is feared the lack of a result in the ELPE sale, offering a 50.1 percent stake, could unsettle investors eyeing DEPA Trade as more time will now be needed to find a strategic investor for ELPE, while even more time will be needed before this buyer decides on what to do with the petroleum group’s sizable stake in DEPA.

Some officials have even suggested a deferral of the DEPA Trade tender would be appropriate given the ELPE sale effort’s failure.

ELPE is determined to acquire a majority stake in DEPA Trade as the company wants majority control of the gas supplier, not a minor role, ELPE officials have made clear.

It is pointless to remain part of a company without controlling it and its management, as is the case at DEPA, where ELPE holds 35 percent, petroleum group officials have made clear from as far back as last year, when talks on DEPA’s privatization plan had commenced.