Greece puts gas group up for sale as privatisation programme kicks off

City A.M. Reporter
GREECE has invited bids for state-owned gas company DEPA, as it moves ahead with a privatisation programme meant to raise €19bn (£15.9bn) by 2015.

According to an offer document published yesterday, the government is considering a “bundled” sale of DEPA, combining its wholesale, trading and gas supply business as well as its DESFA networks and liquefied natural gas arm, or an “unbundled” deal in which DESFA would be sold separately.

In either case, Greece, which owns a 65 per cent stake in DEPA, would retain a 34 per cent stake. The deadline for bids is 22 March.

The offer comes a day after environment minister George Papaconstantinou met the president of Russia’s Gazprom Export, Alexander Medvedev, to discuss energy policy and Greece’s privatisation scheme, according to a ministry statement.

The head of Prometheus Gas, a joint venture between Gazprom and Greece’s Copelouzos group, also attended the meeting.

Greek daily Ta Nea, citing unnamed sources, said yesterday that Prometheus Gas would be among companies bidding.

According to the paper, at least 20 companies and funds have expressed an interest, including Spain’s Gas Natural, French Gas de France, Italy’s ENI and Austrian OMV.