Negotiations for new IPTO close to deal, management an issue

Greek officials are close to reaching an agreement with the country’s lenders for the future of IPTO, the power grid operator, following the latest round of negotiations between the two sides in Athens yesterday, but management of the new IPTO company remains an issue.

According to sources, the lenders have given the green light to a Greek proposal that would maintain the state’s 51 percent stake in IPTO, a subsidiary of main power utility PPC, and offer a 49 percent share to private-sector investors, either through a sale or the stock market.

The two sides seem to have agreed on a payment procedure for PPC’s loss of fixed assets, to be made over a long-term period without the requirement of a direct deposit.

However, the two sides remain divided on the new IPTO company’s management. Greek officials insist that, based on EU practices, private-sector management is not an option. Lenders have stressed that the transfer of the operator’s management to a private-sector company would benefit the market.

Details concerning IPTO’s evaluation and a time schedule for the procedure are still pending. Other isssues also being examined include the transfer of debts burdening PPC to the new IPTO company.

Negotiations are expected to continue today in search of a finalized agreement.