BUSINESS

PPC approves ADMIE spin-off

TAGS: Privatizations

Shareholders of Greece’s electricity utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) approved late on Tuesday the transfer of a 51 percent stake in the power grid operator ADMIE, part of a spin-off scheme, which is a major term in Greece’s bailout program.

Under a legislated scheme aiming at keeping ADMIE under state control, PPC will sell a 24 percent stake to China’s State Grid for 320 million euros and set up a special vehicle to transfer a cost-free 51 percent stake to the state and existing private shareholders.

“The extraordinary PPC shareholders meeting approved the procedures in order to conclude ADMIE’s spin-off,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement.

ADMIE is fully owned by Greece’s state-controlled electricity utility PPC and Athens has agreed to conclude the plan by the end of March or fully privatize the grid this year.

Shareholders were due to approve the stake transfer last Thursday but their meeting was postponed until Tuesday after Greece’s four biggest banks expressed concerns over the plan.

National Bank, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank, which have extended a 2.2-billion-euro syndicated loan to PPC, sent a letter to PPC and the Finance Ministry last week, saying that the sale of the 51 percent stake without any proceeds for PPC would harm the utility’s finances.

After talks between all parties involved, the banks sent another letter to PPC and the Finance Ministry on Tuesday saying they were examining positively PPC’s servicing of the loans after being given guarantees worth at least 300 million euros.

[Reuters]

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