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European consortium to acquire 66% of Desfa
An European consortium consisting of Snam (60%), Enagas (20%) and Fluxys (20%) signed the agreements for the acquisition of a 66% interest in the Greek natural gas infrastructure operator, Desfa.
An European consortium consisting of Snam (60%), Enagas (20%) and Fluxys (20%) signed the agreements with the Greek Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) [Greek privatization agency] and Hellenic Petroleum for the acquisition of a 66% interest in the country’s natural gas infrastructure operator, Desfa.
“The consortium was awarded in April the tender for the privatization of Desfa on the basis of an offer of 535 million euros,” Fluxys said in a statement, adding that the acquisition agreements were signed following authorizations received in recent days by the European Commission and the [Greek] Hellenic Court of Audit.
Fluxys has reminded that the “completion of the transaction, expected by the end of the year, is subject inter alia to the finalization of the internal reorganization aimed at HRADF and Hellenic Petroleum becoming direct shareholders of DESFA which is currently held through DEPA - and to the certification of DESFA under the ownership unbundling regime by the Greek regulator RAE.”
Desfa owns and operates a high pressure transport network of about 1,500-Km, as well as the Revithoussa LNG regasification terminal.
“The consortium has secured a > 10-year non-recourse acquisition financing corresponding to approximately 65% of the enterprise value. The financing is subject to documentation and closing is expected to occur in the next few weeks,” Fluxys said.




On 30-Nov-2016, Greek energy ministry said that talks to sell a 66% stake in gas grid operator Desfa to Azerbaijan’s state-run Socar and Snam, the Italian group which has formed an alliance with the Azeri company, were not successful as their “proposal to reduce the price of the €400 million deal was not feasible from a legal standpoint and would cancel the tender.”
Earlier, Socar had argued that “while the negotiations dragged on since Azerbaijan won the tender in December 2013, the price of Desfa reduced, and that’s why the sides needed to find a compromise.”
The deal was further marred by more uncertainty when Greece passed a law that raised Desfa’s gas tariffs by a much lower amount than expected while the European Commission launched an investigation into whether the acquisition of Desfa by Socar breaks the EU competition rules.
However, local media has reported that the ministry plans to re-launch a tender for selling Desfa’s majority stake, planned as part of a programme of privatizations demanded by EU and IMF. Reuters has cited a Greek energy ministry official as saying that the Desfa privatization remains a commitment under the country’s international bailout plan.
On 26-Jun-2017, HRADF announced that it has relaunched an international tender for the sale of a majority stake in Desfa under which it plans to sell state assets including a 66% stake in the country’s natural gas infrastructure operator by the end of the year.
Under the tender, Greek Hellenic Petroleum is selling its 35% stake in Desfa while the country is divesting the rest.
On 8-Aug-2017, HRADF announced that six companies and consortium are among bidders to buy a 66% stake in Desfa. The interested investors are Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets; a consortium of Snam, Fluxys, Gasunie and Enagas; a consortium of Romanian Transgaz and GRTgaz; Regasificadora del Noroeste; Integrated Utility Services; and Powerglobe LLC.
HRADF’s advisors will evaluate the aforementioned expressions of interest and submit to its board of directors their recommendation regarding the candidates that qualify for the next phase of the tender, the agency said.
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Source(s) GLNGI Staff, Fluxys, Reuters