Enagas displaying interest in renewed DESFA sale effort

Spain’s Enagas appears to be gearing up to join the list of investors exploring the possibility of acquiring a 66 stake in DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, judging by a letter forwarded by the Spanish company concerning the details of an August 7 deadline set for non-binding offers.

This deadline was slightly extended just days ago, following the late emergence of an unidentified Greek-American investor who has expressed an interest in DESFA.

Enagas president Antonio Llarden, during a recent teleconference with analysts, on the occasion of the presentation of DESFA’s first-quarter results, had noted that the Spanish company is closely following the sale effort concerning the Greek gas grid operator, adding that an official commitment could not be made at that specific point in time.

Enagas already maintains an indirect market presnence in Greece as a member of the TAP consortium, with a 16 percent stake, for the gas pipeline project now being constructed and to cross the country’s north.

Enagas had also expressed an interest in the previous DESFA tender, which eventually collapsed late last year. Azerbaijn’s Socar had been declared the winning bidder.

Besides the Spanish interest in the new DESFA sale attempt, pundits contend that two other investment teams will definitely submit bids. Belgium’s Fluxys and Dutch network operator Gasunie are expected to team up for a joint offer, while Italy’s Snam, possibly backed by a fund, is also regarded as a certainty.

Snam had also become involved in the initial unsuccessful DESFA tender, as Socar’s minority partner, with a 17 percent share.