BUSINESS

DESFA deadline pushed to January

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

The deadline for the submission of binding offers for the 66 percent controlling stake in gas grid operator DESFA has been put off from December 22 to January 2018.

State sell-off fund TAIPED accepted a request to that effect submitted by candidate investors last week, as they want more time to prepare their offers.

Bidding for the stake in DESFA are Spanish firm Regasificadora del Noroeste SA and a consortium comprising Snam SpA, Enagas Internacional SLU, Fluxys SA and NV Nederlandse Gasunie. In the last few days bidders’ representatives visited DESFA, where management informed them about the natural gas market’s regulatory issues.

Ahead of developments in the tender process, DESFA stakeholders are focusing their attention on the prices to be offered: The state and Hellenic Petroleum have set as a starting point the 400 million euros that Azeri company Socar offered in the first version of the tender. The high cash reserves, the doubling of profits this year from 2016 and the major rise in gas demand have led to even higher expectations.

However, the fact there will only be two bidders is generating fears that the offers will not even reach 400 million euros, a concern expressed by DESFA chairman and chief executive Sotiris Nikas on Tuesday.

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