French grid operator RTE, a unit of state-owned utility EDF, says it is considering a bid for Greek grid operator ADMIE and would be ready to play a role in consolidating Europe’s power networks if European Union regulations allow this.
RTE, China’s State Grid and Italy’s Terna have all been short-listed by Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) to submit binding bids for a 24 percent stake in ADMIE by Friday.
RTE CEO Francois Brottes told Reuters in an interview on Monday RTE had been approved as a candidate bidder but that it had not yet entered a formal bid because it was waiting for additional information from PPC.
RTE will not overpay for ADMIE or other acquisitions, he said.
“We have no intention to spend money in order to lose money just in order to get our foot in the door. We need to earn a profit,” he said.
He added that even if international investments may not be hugely profitable from the start, they need to meet minimal profitability requirements.
Under Greece’s bailout agreement struck in 2015, ADMIE owner PPC, itself 51 percent state-owned, must either sell a minority stake in ADMIE or fully privatize the grid by next year.
A preferred bidder has to be chosen by October 31 and the deal is expected to be concluded in the first three months of 2017.