A finalized agreement to result from an ongoing international tender offering a 66 percent stake of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, is expected between late February and early March, according to local daily Kathimerini.
If so, the agreement will then require authorization by Greek and European officials, a process expected to last anywhere between one and six months. Once this stage is completed, DESFA will need to be split from its parent company DEPA, the public gas corporation.
Given the requirements, the entire process could, realistically speaking, be completed withing the first quarter of 2018.
The Greek government aims to secure at least 400 million euros in privatization revenues from the DESFA sale. The operator is expected to post a profit of 90 million euros this year, a prospect that indicates it is in robust condition. DESFA’s current cash reserves total 170 million euros, which should help the sale effort.
Following a recent request, prospective bidders participating in the DESFA tender have been granted a one-month deadline extension for binding bids, now reset for January 22.
Two participants remain in contention. Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas, Belgium’s Fluxys and Dutch operator Gasunie have joined forces as a powerhouse team for the DESFA tender. Spain’s Regasificadora del Noroeste is the other participant.