Privatization fund TAIPED is expected to announce its short list of final-round qualifiers in a tender offering a stake of at least 65 percent, possibly even 100 percent, of DEPA Trade – a new entity formed by gas utility DEPA as part of its privatization – within the next few weeks, far sooner than expected.
Deteriorated international investment conditions have prompted fears of a slower sale procedure.
The privatization fund, now close to finalizing its appraisals of nine first-round bids, has requested clarification from participants.
The DEPA Trade privatization was expected to drag well behind that of DEPA Infrastructure, seen as a lower-risk sale effort offering investors regulated earnings, but the two privatization efforts now appear likely to move ahead almost concurrently, or a few weeks apart.
A list of six final-round qualifiers in the DEPA Infrastructure sale was announced a week ago. Authorities are aiming to complete this sale towards the end of the year.
As for DEPA Trade, this entity promises the winning bidder an immediate advantage in Greece’s natural gas market as more than 200,000 customers around the country will be gained.
DEPA Trade’s wholesale gas trading activity is another appealing factor, despite the fact that it shrunk to 40 percent of the market’s total last year, as the growing southeast European market offers huge potential.
DEPA Trade’s nine first-round bidders are: C.G GAS LIMITED; MET HOLDING AG; POWER GLOBE LLC; SHELL GAS B.V.; VITOL HOLDING B.V.; GEK TERNA; HELLENIC PETROLEUM (ELPE) & EDISON INTERNATIONAL HOLDING N.V. consortium; MOTOR OIL HELLAS & GREEK POWER UTILITY PPC (consortium); MYTILINEOS.