The sale procedure for a 66 percent share of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, is set to take a crucial step towards its completion this week when due diligence procedures are launched, offering potential inverstors the right to audit the company before submitting their respective offers.
Belgium’s Fluxys and Spain’s Enagas have already signed mandatory confidentiality agreements to take part in the process, while Italy’s Snam is also expected to do likewise within the current day.
These bidders will vie for a 17 percent share of DESFA after the European Commission intervened to stall a previous agreement reached between DESFA and Azeri energy company Socar, through a tender, for a 66 percent equity share acquisition of the Greek operator by the latter. The EU executive body, which stepped in presumably over EU energy security and competition concerns, demanded that Socar surrender a 17 percent stake of DESFA and acquire 49 percent instead.
Fluxys and Enagas have expressed an interest to acquire the 17 percent DESFA stake as partners, while Snam is expected to make an independent offer.
Snam, Italy’s gas operator, whose capital value is worth 14.38 billion euros, is considered as being one of the biggest companies in the field of construction and management of natural gas networks and infrastructure.
Spain’s Enagas owns and manages the country’s natural gas transmission network as well as four LNG terminals. Besides Spain, it is active in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Sweden, Italy, as well as Greece and Albania, through its stake in the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) consortium.
Belgium’s Fluxys, also a member of the TAP consortium, owns and operates the country’s natural gas grid. It is also active in Germany and Switzerland, and operates an LNG terminal in the coastal Belgian town of Zeebrugge by the North Sea.