The board at power utility PPC has reached a decision to hire US financial services company Goldman Sachs as privatization consultant for the sale of a 49 percent stake in distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a subsidiary, sources have informed.
This appointment is seen as the first step in preparations leading to the partial privatization, while the choice of a heavyweight consultant reflects the importance of the sale for both the government and state-controlled PPC.
The prospective entry of an investor with a 49 stake raises hopes for a major network upgrade, including digitization. Modernized infrastructure will help intensify competition in the domestic electricity market. However, enormous sums are needed. A project entailing the installation of smart meters, alone, is budgeted at one billion euros.
European operators as well as foreign funds investing in energy networks and infrastructure expressed strong interest in DEDDIE prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.
The operator’s regulated earnings and steady yield serve as a safe and profitable haven for capital investment, while DEDDIE’s tremendous asset base expansion potential adds to the appeal for investors.
RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and DEDDIE are currently working together to further modernize the operator’s regulatory framework.
Also, DEDDIE is currently finalizing a new business plan, covering 2020 to 2028. It envisions a gradual increase of annual investments to 350 million euros, more-than-double the current level of 150 million euros.