A consulting firm commissioned by TAIPED, the state privatization fund, has approached between 70 and 80 potential buyers for the ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) sale, offering a 50.1 percent stake.
Possible investors contacted include private equity funds and traders such as Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura as well as refineries, including Repsol and Eni.
TAIPED would be content if about ten of these firms end up expressing official interest in the ELPE sale.
A sale price of approximately 1.3 billion euros is expected to satisfy the privatization fund. This estimate takes into account ELPE’s total equity value of 2.4 billion euros, which puts the 50.1 percent stake’s worth at 1.2 billion euros, plus an additional 10 percent premium, worth about 100 million euros, for the managerial rights.
Prospective buyers face a May 18 deadline to officially express interest.
Geopolitical interests will influence the acceptance of candidates. Terms included in the international tender for the ELPE privatization specify that the Greek State maintans the right to exclude any buyers in order to protect national interests, national security and energy security, or any of these three.
Meanwhile, representatives of the left-wing party LAE (Popular Unity) – formed by Syriza breakaway member Panagiotis Lafazanis, a former energy minister with the Syriza-led coalition – are today scheduled to visit ELPE’s refinery facility in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, to express their disapproval of the privatization.