Sintez confirms interest in Greece’s DESFA, will not bid for DEPA in gas sell off

Russian company Sintez confirmed on Monday that it would not be bidding for Greek gas company DEPA but is still set to express an interest in gas network operator DESFA.

Sintez, controlled by Russian tycoon Leonid Lebedev, said in a statement Monday it is only considering a bid for DESFA.

“A final decision on whether to submit a binding offer will be made in the near future following review of the final versions of the shareholder agreements and sale contract,» Sintez said in a statement.

Azerbaijan’s Socar is also thought to be interested in DESFA.

On Saturday, Greek officials said they had changed the terms of the DEPA sell-off to accommodate another Russian firm, Gazprom, which appears to be the only serious bidder.

Privatisation agency HRADF lowered to 10 percent the amount that DEPA’s buyer will have to deposit as a guarantee before the deal gets regulatory approval, an official told Reuters.

HRADF also said it would compensate the buyer up to 180 million euros if DEPA fails to collect overdue bills owed by Greek customers.

HRADF also pushed back by about ten days a May 29 deadline for the submission of final bids to give DEPA’s suitors more time to study the final sale terms, the official said.

Gazprom’s only rival for DEPA is M&M Gas, a joint venture by Greek energy firms Motor Oil and Mytilineos.

The Russian firm has made a preliminary bid of 900 million euros, whereas M&M offered 550 million.