Privatization fund may exceed revenue target with ELPE sale

If the time frame for an upcoming privatization of ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), offering 50.1 percent, is maintained, TAIPED, the state privatization fund, should exceed its 2018 privatization revenues target figure of two billion euros.

To date, the privatization fund has ensured an influx of over one billion euros for the year from three major privatizations – OTE (284 million euros); Thessaloniki Port Authority (232 million euros) and DESFA, the natural gas grid operator (535 million euros). Further funds are also expected from previous mobile telephony agreements.

A clearer picture as to whether the privatization fund’s two billion-euro target figure for the year is achievable will be established by May 18, the deadline set by TAIPED for first-round ELPE tender offers.

ELPE’s bourse value, based on the closing price of the company’s share yesterday, stands at 2.53 billion euros, meaning a 50.1 percent stake can be estimated to be worth 1.27 billion euros. Factoring in the record operating profit figure of 834 million euros posted by ELPE for 2017, it is believed the 50.1 percent stake could fetch over 1.5 billion euros.

TAIPED officials are also preparing to launch the privatization of DEPA, the public gas corporation. An anticipated agreement between DEPA and Shell, concerning a withdrawal by the latter from their partnership in EPA and EDA supply and distribution ventures covering the wider Athens area, will enable the DEPA privatization procedure to proceed.

DEPA and Shell, until now holders of respective 51 and 49 percent shares in these wider Athens supply and distribution ventures, are expected to announce a finalized agreement any day now.