Baku Energy Forum - Dutch firm plans to purchase 32% of DESFA shares

Dutch firm plans to purchase 32% of DESFA shares


Gasunie, a Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company, has expressed interest in obtaining a 32-percent stake in Greek DESFA natural gas grid operator, as a new tender will be announced on privatization of DESFA soon.

Greek media reported that the Dutch firm plans to acquire the management of the natural gas grid operator.

Belgian Fluxys and Romanian Transgas also remain interested in acquiring a share in DESFA, while the participation of Italian Snam company in the new tender is not excluded either.

Back in 2013, Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR won a tender on the purchase of a 66-percent stake in DESFA for 400 million euros.

The Azerbaijani company intended to obtain a 31-percent stake from the Greek government and to buy a 35-percent stake in Hellenic Petroleum. But the acquisition stalled after the energy giant of Azerbaijan faced EU concerns about a potential breach of its competition law.

SOCAR was ordered to sell 17 percent of DESFA to a third party so that its stake drops to 49 percent and satisfy EU competition authorities. 

The deal was expected to be closed after the purchase of at least a 17-percent stake out of SOCAR’s 66-percent by Italy’s Snam.

SOCAR, Snam and the Greek government have been holding intensive talks against the background of changes in legislation that affected DESFA’s financial position and market value.

However, the parties were unable to reach an understanding and consequently, the deal was terminated on November 30 2016.

Greek Energy and Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis earlier told Trend that the government opted for a clean start and will launch very soon a new tender process that will abide by the EU requirements and set qualitative standards, such as investment plans and job creation, for the prospective buyers.