BUSINESS

Snam-led consortium said to offer 535 million for DESFA, asked to improve bid

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

The strategic interest of Italian gas infrastructure company Snam in the Greek gas network was confirmed on Monday with the opening of the improved financial offers for the acquisition of 66 percent of gas grid operator DESFA.

The consortium of Snam SpA, Spain’s Enagas Internacional and Belgium’s Fluxys submitted, according to the statement by state sell-off fund TAIPED, the highest offer which Kathimerini understands amounted to 535 million euros. According to the terms of the tender, TAIPED requested the preferred bidder to submit another offer that would be further improved, to be assessed at the next board meeting of the fund and by the other stakeholder, Hellenic Petroleum.

Although this information has not yet been officially confirmed, the so-called “consortium of TAP companies”, after the Transadriatic Pipeline, is said to have outbid the other bidder by 78 million euros, as the rival consortium of Spanish company Reganosa, Romania’s Transgaz and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) came to 457 million euros, Kathimerini understands.

What mainly concerns Snam – that controls 50 percent of the bidding consortium – since Monday is whether its improved offer covers or lags the estimate of the independent consultant. The Italian company also took part in the previous tender and was willing to acquire 34 percent from Azeri company Socar, the winning bidder in the first tender for DESFA, so as to meet European Union rules on infrastructure ownership. The price the Azeris had offered then for the 66 percent stake was 400 million euros.

The final price offered will be seen in the next few days. The 535 million euros that the Snam-led consortium is said to have offered exceed considerably – at least in nominal terms – the Socar bid, which at the time stood 30 percent above the company’s valuation. However the DESFA figures have changed considerably since then, thanks to its increased profits.

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