IPTO tender participants fervent, neglecting politics

Participants in the international tender for the sale of a majority 66 percent stake in IPTO – Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator, locally referred to as ADMIE – are expected to request an extension of between three to four weeks before submitting their binding offers. According to government officials, PPC, the Public Power Corporation, IPTO’s parent company, intends to grant the deadline extension, resetting it for November.

Four participants, Terna, SGCC, Elia, and PSP, have emerged as the candidates for the majority stake in IPTO. The contest is expected to stretch beyond the financial offers to be submitted.

All four corporations, which seem to be maintaining fervent interest, are expected to launch wider campaigns stressing their respective corporate identities, their track records to date – at an international level – future plans, possible partnerships should they prevail in the IPTO tender, the potential benefits for consumers as a result of the privatization, as well as their plans for the operator and its personnel.

The current activity being displayed by the tender’s participants suggests they are determined to enter the Greek market and are unperturbed by the unsettling political climate of recent days. The possibility of early elections next spring, as a consequence of the failure by Parliament’s political parties to agree on a new candidate for President – a ceremonial position – cannot be ruled out. President Karolos Papoulias’s five-year term expires next March.

Sources said the tender could not be completed sooner than early 2015, meaning its procedures will end up being entangled with the aforementioned political development, assuming it arises. This all boils down to meaning that, in the event of early elections, the main opposition party, leftist Syriza, currently ahead in various polls, would be called upon to sign IPTO’s privatization agreement. Syriza says it opposes the privatization of all networks.