Holding company plan tabled for DEPA privatization

DEPA, the public gas corporation, and local partner Shell are aiming to finalize and announce an agreement by the end of the month, possibly within the current week, for the latter’s withdrawal from their EPA Attiki and EDA Attiki gas supply and distribution joint ventures serving the wider Athens area.

Though details have not been disclosed, the imminent agreement is said to be worth nearly 150 million euros. Shell currently holds 49 percent stakes in these partnerships.

DEPA has already reached an agreement for Greece’s north for a still unspecified retreat from EPA Thessaloniki-Thessaly. This venture’s Italian partner Eni, currently holding a 49 percent stake, is expected to increase its share.

Once both agreements have been finalized and announced, a bailout-required privatization plan for DEPA will proceed.

TAIPED, the state privatization fund, has agreed that the original DEPA plan, entailing the sale of a 65 percent stake, is not an ideal option, DEPA officals told energypress.

A preferable alternative, or establishment of a holding company comprised of three subsidaries that could be partially listed on the bourse, has been presented by DEPA to TAIPED. The position of the lenders is not known.

According to the proposal, one of the three subsidiaries would control the networks, the second would be responsible for commercial matters, and the third would remain under the holding company and control major energy projects.