Italgas, Italy’s biggest natural gas distributor, appears to have reached a preliminary agreement to acquire fellow Italian company Eni gas e luce’s 49 percent stake and management rights in EDA Thess, covering the Thessaloniki and Thessaly areas.
Though Eni maintains a favorable view of its business interests in EDA Thess, the retail-focused company’s involvement in networks is not its main international activity. EDA Thess is the sole gas distribution company in Eni’s portfolio.
Privatization procedures at Greek gas utility DEPA appear to have hastened the development. DEPA’s 51 percent stake in EDA Thess is set to be transferred to DEPA Infrastructure, one of two new entities, along with DEPA Trade, to emerge from a DEPA split ahead of the gas utility’s privatization.
The government is moving to privatize the Greek State’s prospective 65 percent in DEPA Infrastructure. The entire company may be sold if Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), a 35 percent shareholder, joins this privatization.
Italgas is preparing to participate in the DEPA Infrastructure tender once it has acquired – if all goes well – Eni’s stake in EDA Thess, sources informed.
Eni gas e luce is awaiting Greek market developments and will then examine its options concerning the EDA Thess stake, including a possible sale, company officials have responded to media questions, without confirming any finalized deal.
Speaking to Reuters last week, Italgas chief Paolo Gallo informed the company intends to finalize a merger and acquisition agreement by the end of the year, or, possibly, in the first quarter of 2020.