BUSINESS

Technical checks for the two DESFA bids

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

Greek authorities have started assessing the technical aspects of the two bids for a stake in natural gas network operator DESFA, while the financial offers will be opened on March 9.

All signs point to the price for 66 percent of DESFA topping 400 million euros, although that will also depend on the company’s cash reserves when the transaction is completed.

The preferred bidder will have to make investments of 1.5 billion euros through 2026, a factor that favors the consortium comprising SNAM, Fluxys and Enagas, whose assets exceed 9.6 billion euros, while between them they recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 3.25 billion euros in 2016.

On the other hand, the assets and operating profits of the two companies in the second consortium, Reganosa and Transgaz, are less than a tenth of their bidding rivals. Their assets only add up to 930 million euros and their operating profits to 240 million euros.

However, Reganosa and Transgaz have the financial backing of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is theoretically indefinite: The EBRD’s stake in the consortium amounts to 28 percent and is of a clear investment character, possibly aimed at rivaling the other consortium.

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