ELPE expects Brussels decision on DESFA sale in third quarter

The European Commission will deliver a final decision on the attempted sale of a 66 percent sale of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, to Azeri energy company Socar later this year, in the third quarter, the administration at ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) estimated yesterday while presenting its financial results for 2014.

ELPE is selling its 35 percent stake in DESFA, which would provide the company with 212 million euros of the deal’s 400 million expected total. The Greek State is selling the other 31 percent.

The long-delayed agreement is awaiting approval from the European Commission. The EU executive body launched an investigation into the deal late last year over EU competition concerns before suspending its deadline for a decision just weeks ago.

ELPE officials noted that the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition has informed the company of delays in the investigation process, currently at a standstill.

Both ELPE and TAIPED, the State Privatization Fund, have already extended their deadlines to enable completion of the agreement’s procedures once the examination of the deal has been completed in Brussels.