ELPE sale entering advanced stage, fairness adviser sought

Switzerland’s Glencore and Dutch enterprise Vitol, the two qualifiers for the second round of a Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) international tender offering a 50.1 percent stake, are believed to have just about completed their financial and technical assessments of the oil company.

Binding second-round offers now appear very likely to be submitted some time between September 20 and early October.

TAIPED, the state privatization fund, has just announced a tender for a fairness opinion report. Interested parties willing to take on the task have until September 5 to submit their offers.

The privatization fund has set an August 14 deadline for an additional tender inviting independent evaluators to calculate a nominal price for ELPE’s 50.1 percent up for sale.

Both deadlines indicate that the sale procedure has advanced to a crucial stage.

Glencore and Vitol have already processed information stored in ELPE’s virtual data room set up for the privatization, and, as a follow-up, are soon expected to carry out on-site inspections of ELPE’s refineries.

Any possibility of a third candidate joining forces with one of the two qualifiers for the establishment of a consortium has now been ruled out. The emergence of funds as partners is still being speculated but related reports remain unconfirmed.

Current estimates for ELPE’s 50.1 percent range between one and 1.2 billion euros. TAIPED is selling 20 percent of its 35.48 percent ELPE stake, while Paneuropean Oil, a member of the Latsis group, has agreed to offer 30.1 percent of its 45.47 percent stake in the oil company.