Greece’s DEPA buys out Shell’s stake in domestic gas supplier

Greece’s DEPA buys out Shell’s stake in domestic gas supplier

Greece’s state-controlled DEPA gas company has concluded the acquisition of Shell’s 49 percent stake in a domestic gas supplier and in a gas distributor in Athens, becoming the sole stakeholder in the two companies, it said on Wednesday.

The deal to buy stakes in EPA Attikis and EDA Attikis, clinched in the summer, is worth 150 million euros ($174 million). DEPA, which mainly imports Russian gas, as a sole owner of the companies will now focus on speeding up network expansion for the benefit of Greek consumers, it said in a statement.

DEPA has already agreed to back out from another domestic supplier in northern Greece.

Both moves are part of Greece’s post-bailout commitment to eliminate potential conflicts of interest between DEPA and domestic gas suppliers to help unbundle gas supply from distribution and boost competition.

DEPA is 65 percent owned by the state. The transaction with Shell also opens the way for Athens to privatize the company as agreed with its international lenders. Greece plans to split DEPA in two entities, for its commercial and infrastructure activities respectively, and sell part of them to investors. [Reuters]

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