PPC launches bailout-required tender for sale of IPTO’s 24%

The main power utility PPC today launched a tender to sell a 24 percent stake in subsidiary firm IPTO, the power grid operator, to a strategic investor, in line with terms of the country’s third international bailout.

Non-binding expressions of interest are due by July 26 and must come from either a European transmission operator or joint venture with a grid operator, PPC has announced.

Under Greece’s bailout approved last August, PPC, which is 51-percent owned by the state, must sell a minority stake in IPTO, locally acronymed ADMIE. Otherwise, if the country’s international creditors deem that the procedure has fallen behind schedule, IPTO will need to be fully privatized by next year.

Greece will need to name a preferred bidder by November and conclude the sale by early next year. PPC shareholders approved the IPTO stake sale plan yesterday.

Energy minister Panos Skourletis said last month that the country’s had been approached by three parties interested in buying a stake in IPTO.

The sale of the grid of more than 11,000 km high-voltage power cables is also part of a creditor-mandated drive to curb PPC’s dominance of in the retail market.

PPC’s market share is expected to fall below 50 percent by 2020 from about 92 percent at the end of March.

HSBC Bank, Citigroup and NBG Securities will act as financial advisors.