PRIVATIZATION

Fierce battle for 49% stake in DEDDIE

fierce-battle-for-49-stake-in-deddie

Four investment funds, the strongest to enter the tender, have been shortlisted for the final stage of the battle for a 49% stake in the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DEDDIE). Stakeholder Public Power Corporation (PPC) sees this competition among the four suitors as a strong indication that it will achieve a high price.

On the way to the deadline for the submission of binding offers (postponed from mid-August to September 4), the four interested investors “have already scrutinized the company’s data rooms and with the assistance of an army of consultants are asking a great deal of questions about every possible detail,” a PPC official told Kathimerini.

The estimate of the PPC management is that the battle will be fierce due to the high returns and the margin of improvement in the DEDDIA structure and operation, and also to the fact that such offerings only rarely come up for grabs in international markets.

PPC’s chairman and chief executive, Giorgos Stassis expressed to Kathimerini his optimism about the outcome of the tender. He did, however, note that his recommendation will be against the sale of the 49% stake if the price offered does not reach up to a certain level. This has apparently also been made clear to the bidders, who should factor it in their bid as the tender does not provide for an offer improvement option.

The interest of the four investors is also confirmed by the fact that they have asked for meetings with the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) to be informed on regulatory issues connected with DEDDIE’s operation.

The final regulatory details were fine-tuned on Thursday, ahead of the September 4 deadline. The RAE plenary approved the regulated annual revenue for the 2021-2024 period, starting from 771 million euros this year and rising gradually to €798 million in 2024 as the new hirings DEDDIE has already planned are implemented. Interestingly, RAE has not acknowledged as a DEDDIE asset cost the €1 million bonus for senior executives and the €6 million bonus for employees.

Also on Thursday the PPC board approved a voluntary exit program for up to 1,200 employees of the utility, aged 51 or over.