PPC board to endorse SGCC’s IPTO bid, payback extension

The board at PPC, the main power utility, is today expected to officially declare SGCC, the State Grid Corporation of China, as the preferred bidder of an international tender offering a 24 percent stake of its subsidiary firm IPTO, the power grid operator.

SGCC offered 320 million euros for IPTO’s 24 percent, an amount believed to have exceeded an independent evaluation conducted by Barclays. Its outcome has yet to be disclosed.

The power utility’s board, seeking to improve its cash flow, will also decide today to extend the duration of its softened payback program for consumers with arrears, enabling repayment of unpaid bills over 36 installments without any deposit, sources informed.

A finalized decision on the IPTO sale will be made at the utility’s next general shareholders meeting, scheduled for November 24. If all goes well, IPTO’s new minority shareholder will be granted administrative rights early in 2017. The details of these rights will be determined during negotiations between the two sides for the establishment of a share purchase agreement and a shareholders agreement.

Talks held with SGCC officials so far have suggested the Chinese company is mostly interested in matters concerning the operator’s financial management and investment program. A number of pundits believe SGCC will seek to appoint officials in the operator’s financial management and supply departments.

PPC will concurrently pursue a plan leading to the sale of 25 percent of IPTO through the bourse and transfer of 51 percent to the Greek State.