The Greek privatization fund TAIPED has extended a binding-bids deadline for participants of a tender offering a 50.1 percent stake in ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) to April 3 from March 29, a development that takes the sale procedure into the home stretch.
Two bidding teams are participating in the ELPE tender. Glencore, an early qualifier, has been joined by US firm Carlyle, while Vitol, the other early contestant, has formed an alliance with Algeria’s Sonatrach.
The sale’s officials may call for a second round of improved binding bids if needed, sources informed.
Meanwhile, the ELPE workers union group PSEEP has reacted strongly against the planned privatization, describing it as a “major scandal” and “national crime”. PSEEP has announced a three-day strike for March 28 to 30.
The energy ministry and TAIPED, the state privatization fund, have both reassured respective action taken by union groups representing the main power utility PPC and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) will not disrupt ongoing privatization efforts for either.
All necessary steps have been made to ensure smooth progress of a bailout-required sale of PPC lignite units and mines representing 40 percent of the power utility’s lignite capacity, the energy ministry has declared.
As for the ELPE sale, TAIPED – representing the Greek State, offering 20.5 of its 35.5 percent stake along with Paneuropean’s 30.47 percent of 45.47 percent held – has opted not to comment on the mobilization efforts of PSEEP, the ELPE workers union group, suggesting it does not fear a disruption of the 50.1 percent sale.
Genop, the PPC union, has filed a case to the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, seeking a rejection of environmental terms concerning the Meliti power facility included in PPC’s sale package. This move’s ultimate aim is to delay the overall sale.
PSEEP has taken triple action, filing its ELPE case to the local Capital Market Commission, which has prompted a public offering procedure dispute, London bourse authorities, and European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions (PETI), believing a violation of European law exists.