Bidding deadline for DESFA’s 66 pct extended by two months

The bidding deadline for the sale of a 66 pct stake of National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA) is reportedly being extended to February 16, from the initial deadline of December 22.

Current stakeholders include Hellenic Petroleum or ELPE (35 pct) and the state (31 pct).

ELPE sources said that the asking price of 400 million euros for 66 pct of DESFA is low, given the financial results of the company and the investments carried out that will allow the company to operate in the market of the wider region.

Snam, Enagas, Fluxys and Gasunie, as well as the Spanish Regasificadora del Noroeste, have been shortlisted. In the previous bid, Azerbaijan’s natural gas company SOCAR had emerged as the highest bidder, but the bid fell through after formal protests by the EU’s Directorate General for Competition.

In recent statements, Sotiris Nikas, DESFA chairman and chief executive officer, said that 2017 earnings are expected to reach 94 million euros (2.5 times over the 2016 performance) and cash reserves are close to 200 million euros.