More aggressive DEDDIE sale, offering 51%, being examined

The recently elected conservative New Democracy government is considering adopting a more aggressive sale policy for distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO by offering investors a majority stake in the company, including managerial rights.

Government officials believe the prospect of a 51 percent acquisition of the distribution network operator, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, is the only way of luring a strategic investor who would subsequently push ahead with enormous – and required – infrastructure upgrade projects.

A majority package would also increase the likelihood of a higher sale price, officials believe.

Nothing is yet certain but finalized decisions will need to be made over the next two weeks, ahead of a report on PPC from Ernst & Toung, the power utility’s certified auditor, expected September 24.

The talk of an aggressive DEDDIE sale is credible as it stems from government sources, not consultants.

Irrespective of the DEDDIE sale decision to be taken, a period of between 10 and 12 months will be needed before a tender can be launched as the transfer of fixed assets from PPC to DEDDIE should take about this long to complete.

Substations and a distribution network covering 238,000 kilometers need to be transferred to DEDDIE, besides logistics and legal work.

Barring unexpected developments and strong reaction against the sale plan, the tender is not expected to be launched before June, 2020. Funds from the sale will not come in before late 2020 or early 2021.