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    Azerbaijan Eyes Stake in Greece's DEPA

Summary

Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR says it is interested in buying a stake in the State Gas Company of Greece (DEPA), should it be privatized.

by: C_Ladd

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Natural Gas & LNG News, News By Country, Greece, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Eyes Stake in Greece's DEPA

Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR says it is interested in buying a stake in the State Gas Company of Greece (DEPA), should it be privatized.

SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev held talks with Harris Sahinis, his counterpart from DEPA on a possible sale last week.

"We’re ready to consider this proposal, and if the conditions suit us, we’ll acquire the Company. In general, in Europe a lot is put up for sale, but that does not mean that we have to participate everywhere," Abdullayev said.

Vagif Aliyev, the head of SOCAR's investment department, signaled SOCAR’s interest in participating in any tender process to buy a stake in Greek state company last month.

"We are considering our participation in a tender on DEPA's privatization ... We are talking about purchasing the state's stake in this company," commented Aliyev.

The financial crisis in Greece has forced the government to examine options to reduce the rising national debt.

Greek media have reported their government is planning to sell a 55 percent stake. The state currently controls a 65 percent stake in DEPA, with the balance held by Hellenic Petroleum.

This April, SOCAR and DEPA signed a new gas supply deal under which Azeri gas will be delivered to Greece, bypassing Turkish intermediaries.