Athens seeks fi­nal bids for gas grid by year-end

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece aims to get bind­ing of­fers from in­vestors short-listed for a 66 per­cent stake in state-con­trolled nat­u­ral gas grid DESFA by the end of the year, two sources close to the process said yes­ter­day. Un­der its lat­est in­ter­na­tional bailout with the Euro­pean Union and the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, Greece is sell­ing a 31 per­cent stake in DESFA and Hel­lenic Petroleum is sell­ing its 35 per­cent stake in the grid. The coun­try needs to con­clude the sale by the end of the year. Spain’s Re­gasi­fi­cadora Del Noroeste (Reganosa) and a con­sor­tium of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Ena­gas, Bel­gium’s Fluxys and Dutch Ga­sunie got the green light last month to carry out a due dili­gence process be­fore they sub­mit bind­ing bids. “[The bid­ders] are in the process of get­ting ac­cess to DESFA’s vir­tual data room,” an of­fi­cial with knowl­edge of the mat­ter told Reuters. “The aim is to have bind­ing bids be­fore the end of the year.” An­other source said the of­fers were ex­pected in De­cem­ber. Greece’s pri­va­ti­za­tion agency TAIPED, which is han­dling the sale, de­clined to com­ment. A pre­vi­ous deal to sell the stake to Azer­bai­jan’s So­car for 400 mil­lion euros col­lapsed last year af­ter Athens passed leg­is­la­tion rais­ing DESFA’s gas tar­iffs by a lower amount than So­car had ex­pected, and So­car sub­se­quently sought to lower the ac­qui­si­tion price.

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