Socar reported to have upped bid for DESFA to 400 mln euros

Azeri state energy company Socar is said to have tabled an improved bid of 400 million euros for a controlling stake in Greece’s natural gas transmission network operator, DESFA.

According to reports, Socar on Tuesday submitted to the state privatization fund (TAIPED) its revised offer for the 66 percent stake in the subsidiary of the country’s natural gas corporation, DEPA, which is also up for sale. According to an independent valuator, the minimum price for the stake was 330 million euros.

The same sources say that Tuesday’s development will be the catalyst for the acquisition of the Greek gas network by Socar, while some analysts have gone as far as interpreting the improved offer as a positive sign that Baku will choose the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) – which will go through Greece – for the transmission of Azeri gas to Western Europe.

Azerbaijan is expected to choose between TAP and rival pipeline Nabucco West by end-June.

However, according to a report in Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Azeri government is leaning toward Nabucco West rather the pipeline sponsored by the Greek, Albanian, Italian and Croatian governments.