Government, troika discuss privatization of public gas corporation

Government, troika discuss privatization of public gas corporation
Greek Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis was locked in talks with the troika technical experts on Wednesday, over the government’s obligations in terms of energy sector reforms, in the context of the fourth review of the Greek bailout program.
The Greek public gas corporation, DEPA, topped of the agenda of Wednesday’s talks. Stathakis was expected to brief creditors on the signing of an agreement that will see the company sell a 51% stake in Zenith – the EPA Thessaloniki-Thessaly gas supply company – to Italian energy giant Eni which holds a 49% stake in the firm. The deal is reported to be worth approximately 57 million euros.
Mr. Statakis was also set to inform creditors of an agreement between DEPA and Shell with which the former will acquire the latter’s 49% share in the EPA Attiki gas supply company. This deal is worth about 150 million euros.
The privatization of DEPA will also be discussed. According to sources with knowledge of the issue, Stathakis will present possible scenarios to privatize the group, while securing the maximum revenue for the State. These scenarios include:
Stripping the company of networks and transferring them to a separate company. This will include the networks of Attica, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and DEDA (the network for the rest of Greece). The Energy Ministry’s proposal foresees the privatization of this company through the sale of a 34-49% stake. The State will retain control of the majority stake. DEPA and the remainder of its activities will then be privatized via the sale of a 65% stake in the company.
An alternative scenario calls for the establishment of a holding company to serve as an umbrella for three new subsidiaries. The one with the distribution networks will be privatized via the sale of 34%; the second company will hold the commercial arm and up to 66% of it will be sold; the third company will cover international projects. The majority of the holding company will be floated on the stock market…. / IBNA