Spain’s Reganosa, Romania’s Transgaz joining forces for DESFA tender

Spain’s Regasificadora del Noroeste (Reganosa), facing a powerhouse four-member consortium in its quest to acquire a 66 percent of Greek natural gas grid operator DEFSA through an ongoing international tender, appears set to officially join forces with Romania’s Transgaz in an effort to bolster its bidding hopes.

Regasificadora del Noroeste and Transgaz have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, confirming a recent energypress report of a partnership in the making.

The tender’s other bidding team is comprised of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas, Belgium’s Fluxys and Dutch operator Gasunie, until now the hot favorite for DESFA’s 66 percent, being offered in a renewed tender following the collapse of a previous sale effort in which Azerbaijan’s Socar had been declared the winning bidder.

Transgaz is scheduled to decide on the details of its prospective partnership with Regasificadora del Noroeste for the DESFA tender at a shareholders’ meeting scheduled to take place on January 18.

According to highly-ranked Transgaz officials, the two companies have already agreed on the fundamentals of their cooperation and are currently examining the details of their prospective binding offer.

The Romanian officials also informed that Regasificadora del Noroeste will spearhead the two-member team as it meets all certification requirements listed in the DESFA tender.

The Transgaz officials have not ruled out the inclusion of other participants in the consortium. The Romanian firm expects the price for DESFA’s 66 percent to reach at least 400 million euros, a prospect that would satisfy the hopes of Greek government and operator officials.

Socar was declared the winning bidder of the previous DESFA tender, also offering 66 percent, with a 400 million-euro offer.

Transgaz is not a newcomer to the DESFA sale. The Romanian firm also emerged in the first round of the DESFA tender with France’s GRTGas, a member of the Engie group, as its partner. However, the pair failed to qualify for the procedure’s next round on the grounds that it may have not fulfilled EU conditions.

The tender’s deadline for binding offers has been extended by TAIPED, Greece’s stae privatization fund, to February 16, following a request by participants.