Sell-off body stops short of ac­cept­ing So­car’s DESFA bid

TAIPED voices sat­is­fac­tion with re­vised of­fer of 400 mln eu­ros

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

While sell-off fund TAIPED has ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the im­proved of­fer by Az­eri en­ergy com­pany So­car for the ma­jor­ity stake in nat­u­ral gas trans­mis­sion net­work op­er­a­tor DESFA, it stopped short of an­nounc­ing that the ten­der will be awarded to the sole suitor, as had been ex­pected.

TAIPED’s state­ment added that its board “has pre­pared all the nec­es­sary pro­ce­dures in or­der for the ten­der to be com­pleted as soon as pos­si­ble.” Fund sources said that the en­tire process will be com­pleted in the next week or two.

Sources from the govern­ment said that there are three purely tech­ni­cal is­sues pend­ing un­til the ten­der is com­pleted. They added that the Greek side is wait­ing for the sub­mis­sion of a let­ter of guar­an­tee cor­re­spond­ing to the amount of So­car’s new of­fer – i.e. 400 mil­lion eu­ros – as well as for the Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity for En­ergy (RAE) to cer­tify the com­pli­ance of the deal with mar­ket reg­u­la­tions and Euro­pean di­rec­tives, and the ap­proval of the bid by the board of Hel­lenic Pe­tro­leum (ELPE), which is sell­ing its 35 per­cent stake in DESFA through TAIPED.

The word from ELPE was that “the board will con­vene when it for­mally has the re­vised of­fer in its hands,” adding that the only of­fi­cial bind­ing bid was the orig­i­nal one.

Kathimerini un­der­stands that Rus­sian com­pany Sin­tez has reaf­firmed its in­ter­est in a pack­age pur­chase for DESFA and for the Pub­lic Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (DEPA), hav­ing failed to sub­mit a bid for ei­ther this month. Sin­tez of­fi­cials, who last week ex­pressed their in­ter­est to the TAIPED man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Yian­nis Emiris, this week vis­ited the TAIPED board for a sec­ond time to re­it­er­ate their po­si­tion that the Sin­tez in­ter­est re­mains alive.

Sources say that TAIPED in­formed Sin­tez that it had al­ready reached a deal with So­car, and the Rus­sian of­fi­cials left with­out mak­ing it clear whether they were still in­ter­ested in DEPA.

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