Bloomberg News

Greece to Allow Investors to Decide on Gas Company Sales Process

February 15, 2012

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Greece will offer investors the opportunity to decide whether they want to buy gas companies DEPA SA and Desfa together or as separate entities, Greek Energy Minister George Papaconstantinou said.

Greece plans to sell state-controlled natural supplier Depa and gas grid operator Desfa as part of a plan to raise 50 billion euros ($65 billion) from state asset sales or redevelopment. The country has to get 19 billion euros of this by the end of 2015, according to the terms of a second bailout package of loans for Greece.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which is overseeing the privatization program, will proceed in the next few weeks with the first phase of selling the two companies, Papaconstantinou said in Athens today, according to a transcript of his comments e-mailed from the Athens-based Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry.

“As provided in the memorandum and in accordance with the agreement we made with our European partners, we will allow the market itself to say how interested it is in a consolidated company or in two separate companies,” Papaconstantinou said.

Greece has also asked Public Power Corp. SA, the country’s dominant electricity producer, to stop exports and to activate other power units that don’t use natural gas, Papaconstantinou said. This is to avoid supply problems as supplies to Greece fall amid high demand from Europe because of an extreme cold snap and an accident in neighboring Turkey, he said.

--Editors: Tim Farrand, Peter Woodifield

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net


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