BUSINESS

Power utility PPC close to securitisation deal for unpaid bills, say sources

TAGS: Energy

Public Power Corp. (PPC) , Greece’s biggest utility, is close to selling off a bundle of unpaid bills worth about 300 million euros ($339 million) in a securitisation deal with JPMorgan, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

PPC, which is 51% state-owned, is struggling under a pile of about 2.7 billion euros of electricity bills left unpaid from Greeks hard up because of the country’s decade-long debt crisis.

The utility has been working for months on a plan to securitise part of the arrears.

PPC will now seek to raise 200-250 million euros from the transaction with JPMorgan, which includes arrears of up to 60 days, one of the sources said, adding that the deal would be discussed at a board meeting on Tuesday.

Under the deal, PPC will continue to collect the bills, while JPMorgan will get an interest rate of around 3.5% from the utility and will be paid back after a period of time. In a securitisation, debts are turned into securities which are parcelled up and sold to investors.

The utility declined to comment.

PPC is also looking to securitise a second tranche of bills that are in arrears by more than 90 days and considered non-performing, the second source said.

The sources said that the second transaction was expected to be concluded in September or October.

Under new management, which took over last year, PPC plans to switch off all but one of its coal-fired plants by 2023.

It also plans to boost investment in renewables to help Greece align with the European Union’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

[Reuters]

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