PPC union greets IPTO bidders with extrajudicial statements

Genop, the power utility PPC’s main union group, is preparing to further escalate its action against a government plan to split IPTO, the power grid operator, from the utility, the operator’s parent company, and partially privatize it, with extrajudicial statements that have been prepared by the union. These statements will now be forwarded to three strategic investors preparing to submit binding offers for a 24 percent stake of IPTO.

The union group’s extrajudicial statements, to be delivered to Italy’s Terna, France’s RTE and China’s State Grid, all through to the IPTO international tender’s second stage, will present Genop’s position on IPTO worker rights and contend that these are incorporated into the operator’s fixed assets, therefore constituting one of a number of issues that could lead to the nullification of any investments made in the Greek company.

The extrajudicial statements will also make clear to the three candidates the opposition of IPTO’s workers and union to the plan entailing the operator’s split from PPC and entry of a strategic investor, as well as the repercussions this disapproval may have on the management rights included in the tender.

Genop is intensifying its efforts, despite the relaxed wider activity amid the ongoing summer recess. The union’s move to prepare extrajudicial statements represents just part of an escalating campaign against IPTO’s split-and-sale plan. More intitiatives are soon expected.

Last month, Genop officials managed to stop proceedings at a recent PPC general shareholders meeting, held to endorse the IPTO plan, and then managed to interrupt the required follow-up meeting a week later, on July 11. It was shifted from its hotel location to the finance ministry and completed later in the day with reinforced police protection at hand.

Terna, RTE and China’s State Grid are preparing for due diligence procedures before they submit binding offers. All three firms are believed to be very keen on the IPTO investment, viewing it as a key step in their plans for a wider regional presence.

Under the current plan, besides the 24 percent of IPTO being offered to strategic investors, 51 percent will be transferred to the Greek State, while the other 25 percent will be offered to investors through the bourse. The Greek State controls PPC, the operator’s parent company, with a 51.12 percent stake.