Privatization fund TAIPED is preparing swift privatization action at gas utility DEPA to follow the government’s ratification of a restructuring plan at the company that will place for sale two new corporate entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, emerging through this process.
A tender offering investors the Greek State’s 65 percent of DEPA Infrastructure – resulting from the Greek State’s equivalent stake in DEPA – will be announced no later than December 15, according to energypress sources.
Hellenic Petroleum ELPE’s 35 percent stake – resulting from the Greek State’s equivalent stake in DEPA – is expected to be included in the DEPA Infrastructure sale, sources noted. The petroleum group has indicated it is not interested in maintaining interests in DEPA Infrastructure. If this is so, then the potential buyer or buyers of DEPA Infrastructure will become full owner.
DEPA Infrastructure is the full owner of Attiki gas distributor, covering the wider Athens area, and DEDA, covering the rest of Greece. DEPA Infrastructure also holds a 51 percent stake in distributor EDA Thess (Thessaloniki and Thessaly). Italy’s ENI is the minority partner in this venture.
DEPA Infrastructure, through all its interests, has lined up a five-year investment program worth 250 million euros. Revenues at DEPA Infrastructure are regulated and worth a total of approximately 130 million euros.
Italy’s Italgas and Germany’s E.ON are believed to be among the potential bidders for DEPA Infrastructure. Belgium’s Fluxys and Spain’s Enagas, both part of a three-member consortium controlling Greek gas grid operator DESFA, may also participate in the DEPA Infrastructure sale.
The announcement of a sale procedure for DEPA Trade will follow and is expected by the end of January.
ELPE is not expected to offer its 35 percent stake to this sale, meaning bidders will most probably be bidding for the Greek State’s 65 percent.
The Mytilineos group, Motor Oil and a partnership comprised of Copelouzos and KKCG, the Czech company holding a stake in Greek lottery company OPAP, are seen as likely participants in the privatization fund’s ELPE Trade sale. International players ENI and Edison have also been mentioned by pundits.