After DEPA Infrastructure, the company that has undertaken the natural gas transmission network, it is now time for the privatization process of DEPA Commercial to start. Sources say that, by Friday, state privatization fund TAIPED will have published an invitation for expressions of interest in the sale of the state’s 65 percent stake in the gas trading company.
Regarding the 35 percent stake controlled by Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), the same sources say the oil company has signed a memorandum of understanding with TAIPED providing for the winning bidder for the state’s stake to buy ELPE’s holding too, at some discount from the price offered for the 65 percent stake. This term will be on the tender’s proclamation so candidate investors will be formally aware of it.
As ELPE officials have publicly declared, through participating in the tender, the oil company will seek to assume full control of DEPA Commercial; if that aim is not achieved, ELPE will divest and follow a separate course in the gas market using subsidiary Elpedison as a vehicle. It is also most likely ELPE will jointly bid for DEPA Commercial with Edison.
Other likely candidates are the Copelouzos Group with Czech investor Karel Komarek, Motor Oil, GEK Terna (which is said to be seeking a partner) and Mytilineos.