The two candidate investors vying for 50.1 percent of Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE), Vitol and Glencore, are seeking partners to submit joint binding bids for the majority stake in the listed company by January 2019.
Sources say Vitol is in contact with Algeria’s Sonatrach while Glencore is in talks with US funds. A Qatari company is also said to have asked state privatizations fund TAIPED for details on the tender process.
The rules of the tender allow for the entrance of other investors in the binding offers stage, provided they are in a consortium with one of the short-listed investors.
In this context, both the candidate investors and TAIPED’s advisers have been contacting third parties in recent months, and now appear close to meeting their target.
Such a prospect would be very promising, as the entry into Hellenic Petroleum of a company with the characteristics of Sonatrach would guarantee HELPE’s future operation and strengthen its refining activity, the Greek group’s main field.
The interest of US funds was also confirmed this week by Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a speech at a American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce conference, when he said he was looking forward to a transparent tender process for HELPE.