European trio signs deals for DESFA stake acquisition

The European consortium consisting of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagás and Belgium’s Fluxys signed on Friday in Athens several deals for the acquisition of a 66 percent interest in DESFA, operator of the Greek gas grid and the Revithoussa LNG terminal.

An LNG carrier at the Revithoussa LNG terminal (Image courtesy of DESFA)

The agreements were signed with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRAD) and Hellenic Petroleum.

The consortium in which Snam is the majority shareholder with an interest of 60 percent, Enagás (20 percent) and Fluxys (20 percent), was awarded in April the tender for the privatization of DESFA on the basis of an offer of 535 million euros.

Today’s contracts were signed following authorizations received in recent days by the European Commission and the Hellenic Court of Audit, a joint statement reads.

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.

Greece is an important crossroads for the diversification of gas supplies as well as the opening of new natural gas routes in Europe and may additionally develop as a gas hub for south-eastern Europe, the statement notes.

Thanks to the support of Snam, Enagás and Fluxys – the three European infrastructural companies most involved in the creation of the Energy Union – DESFA will be able to fully exploit its strategic position in the Mediterranean, it said.

“The consortium will also promote innovative uses and new sources of natural gas in Greece to further contribute to the sustainable growth of the natural gas market, the economic development of the country and make a contribution to the country’s emission reduction process,” the statement said.

The consortium said it has secured a 10-year non-recourse acquisition financing corresponding to approximately 65 percent of the enterprise value.

The financing is subject to documentation and closing is expected to occur in the next few weeks.