BUSINESS

DEPA looks set to buy Shell’s Attica Gas stake

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

The Energy Ministry expects on Friday to close the deal between Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and Shell for the acquisition by the Greek gas company of the Dutch group’s stake in Attica Gas Corporation. The process is already behind the schedule provided for in an agreement between Minister Giorgos Stathakis and Greece’s creditors.

On Wednesday there was another staff-level meeting between the two companies that sources say came very close to a solution on the thorny issue of guarantees. DEPA wants Shell, or one of its subsidiaries, to become the guarantor in case the special-purpose vehicle that holds Shell’s stake in Attica Gas Corp goes bankrupt. Shell was originally against becoming the guarantor, but it now appears to have backed down, proposing for that purpose one its subsidiaries involved in the energy sector.

Upon the sealing of the deal DEPA will propose the acquisition of 49 percent of the supply and distribution sections of Attica Gas Corp to the utility’s board and then submit it to the two DEPA stakeholders (state sell-off fund TAIPED and Hellenic Petroleum), along with an independent adviser’s report, for approval.

The completion of the deal is necessary for the privatization of DEPA; however, it has met with the objections of Motor Oil, which have been submitted to the Competition Commission.

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