TAIPED set to take steps for PPC’s 17% part-privatization

A bailout demand requiring Greece to appoint a consultant as the first step in the part-privatization plan of main power utility PPC’s 17 percent is expected to be completed in February, a leading official at TAIPED, the state privatization fund, has informed.

All pending issues concerning the breakaway plan for the PPC subsidiary IPTO, the power grid operator, will need to have been settled before the utility’s part-privatization plan may proceed.

An IPTO holding company is expected to be listed on the bourse around the end of March, possibly slightly later. IPTO’s breakaway from its parent company was only recently approved at a PPC shareholders’ meeting, held on January 17. A 60-day period will then need to elapse before any further IPTO action can be taken. During this time, shareholders will have the right to raise any objections in writing.

Once these procedures have been completed, TAIPED will launch procedures for the part-privatization of PPC, assuming the initiative is backed by the needed political support.

PPC’s business prospects beyond 2020, when the corporation is expected to have reduced its dominant electricity market share to less than 50 percent, will need to be presented in detail if the utility is to stand as an attractive investment prospect.

The utility’s biggest concerns at this stage are its accumulation of maturing debt and high payroll costs. Monthly salaries at the utility average 3,425 euros, an extremely high level given the recession’s wider impact on salary levels. In the first half of 2016, PPC salaries represented 18 percent of the utility’s total revenues.