Stathakis up­sets DESFA sale plans

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The gov­ern­ment is tak­ing the pri­va­ti­za­tion of gas net­work oper­a­tor DESFA back to square one, rev­ers­ing what has been agreed with Greece’s cred­i­tors on the fast-track process and the im­me­di­ate restart of the ex­ist­ing ten­der. En­ergy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis yes­ter­day in­formed the cred­i­tors of a new plan pro­vid­ing for the state to re­tain a 51 per­cent con­trol­ling stake in DESFA, along sim­i­lar lines to the re­cent sell-off of 24 per­cent of power grid oper­a­tor ADMIE.

Stathakis added in his let­ter that the gov­ern­ment is not re­spon­si­ble for what DESFA’s other main stake­holder, Hel­lenic Petroleum, de­cides re­gard­ing the sale of its 35 per­cent stake. Therefore, given that the state’s stake comes to 65 per­cent, the Stathakis plan pro­vides for the sale of just 14 per­cent of DESFA, which would hardly be at­trac­tive for in­vestors if Hel­lenic Petroleum were to de­cide against putting its stake up for sale.

Be­sides the dif­fi­culty in at­tract­ing buy­ers with a stake that does not se­cure a strate­gic role, the Stathakis plan says noth­ing about how it will match the revenues fore­cast on the ba­sis of the sale of 66 per­cent of DESFA to Az­eri state firm So­car, which fell through. The revenues were fore­cast at 188 mil­lion eu­ros.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis com­mits to the sale of just 14 per­cent of DESFA.

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