ECONOMY

PPC accepts state offer, will buy up to 30 pct of DEPA

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) announced yesterday that its board had agreed to take up an offer from the Greek State for an option to buy up to 30 percent of the state-owned Public Gas Company (DEPA). A PPC official said the approval was the first step in the process and no other details had been approved or finalized. «The board approved the signing of a contract with the Greek State which provides that the State grant PPC the option to buy up to 30 percent of DEPA’s shares,» PPC’s Chief Financial Officer Grigoris Anastasiadis told Reuters. «There is no decision about the price or any other term if PPC exercises this option in the future,» he said. State-controlled Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s largest refining group, has a 35-percent stake in DEPA. Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said in December last year that a tender to find a strategic partner in the 65-percent state-owned DEPA would be launched in January. The government would offer a strategic investor up to 35 percent of DEPA, the minister said. PPC, a state-owned utility now about 16-percent floated on the Athens and London exchanges, added 0.33 percent to close at 12.34 euros on the Athens bourse yesterday. (Reuters) The license, the country’s second for a digital mobile telephone operator, was won separately by OTE in a tender in 2000 for $135 million (152 million euros). Now the government wants to sell up to 65 percent of BTC and its privatization program for 2002 envisages a revenue of only $100 million (113 million euros) from the sale.