Gov’t examining DEPA options, including holding co. model

The newly appointed energy ministry is examining alternatives for the sale of gas utility DEPA, one of these being an older plan proposed by the privatization fund TAIPED for the establishment of a holding company that would house three subsidiaries representing the utility’s commercial, network and international project interests.

This plan would involve offering stakes in the commercial and network subsidiaries to investors while the international projects division would remain in the holding company portfolio.

The privatization fund’s proposal, presented about a year-and-a-half ago, foresaw the sale of a majority stake in the commercial entity and a minority stake in the network company.

This plan differs greatly to a DEPA split plan legislated by the previous Syriza government in March.

Contrary to the Syriza effort, the holding company plan entails a partial, not full, break from DEPA of the aforementioned business activities.

Meanwhile, decisions on details concerning a Hellenic Petroleum ELPE sale relaunch have not been reached. The new energy ministry will first need to hold talks with Paneuropean Oil, a member of the Latsis group, holding a 45.5 percent stake in ELPE. It remains unclear whether Paneuropean Oil would be willing to participate in any renewed sale attempt for ELPE.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis indicated a new ELPE sale procedure would be launched following the previous effort’s failure to produce a result. The Greek State offered 20 percent of its 35.48 percent share in ELPE and Paneuropean Oil made available 30.1 percent of its 45.47 stake.

It remains unclear if investors would consider buying the Greek State’s 35.48 percent stake held in ELPE should Paneuropean Oil refuse to take part in the sale.