BUSINESS

Green light for DESFA sale, HELPE offers

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Privatizations, Energy

Athens has short-listed both remaining candidates in the tender for the privatization of Hellenic Petroleum, while Brussels opened the way on Monday – in record time – for the completion of the privatization of gas grid operator DESFA.

The governing board of state sell-off fund TAIPED has, according to sources, approved the participation of the two bidders, Glencore and Vitol, for 50.1 percent of Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) in the second stage of the tender. However, the government has not yet issued a formal order, as is required for projects with a strategic character such as those in the energy sector.

The European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp) gave the green light for DESFA’s privatization. Its statement read that the Commission has concluded that the proposed takeover of DESFA by Italy’s Snam causes no concern over competition as the companies involved do not operate in the same region.

Notably, DG Comp issued its approval in less than 40 days, which means the transaction’s completion is just a matter of time, as the State Audit Council’s pending approval for the transfer of 66 percent of DESFA will be issued within weeks.

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