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    Greece's Desfa Sale Completed: Snam


Partners have fulfilled their schedule of completing the deal by end-2018.

by: Mark Smedley

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Greece's Desfa Sale Completed: Snam

The acquisition of a two-thirds equity stake in Greek gas grid operator, Desfa, by an international consortium, led by Italy's Snam, has been completed on schedule.

The completion comes five months after a binding agreement on the deal was reached with vendors: Greek privatisation agency HRADF (in Greek: Taiped) and Hellenic Petroleum.

Snam announced December 20 that the consortium - consisting of itself (60%), Spain's Enagas (20%) and Belgium's Fluxys (20%) - completed its €535mn ($607mn) acquisition of the controlling 66% Desfa interest. The remaining 34% stake will remain Greek state-owned.

The consortium, which won the tender for Desfa's privatisation in April 2018 and made its acquisition through the entity 'Senfluga Energy Infrastructure Holdings', said it  has obtained a longer than 10-year, non-recourse acquisition financing, corresponding to about 65% of the enterprise value.

Desfa owns and operates, under a regulated regime, a 1,500-km high-pressure transport network, as well as a regasification terminal at Revithoussa the capacity of which has recently been increased by 55%.

Snam said that Greece is important for the opening of new natural gas routes in Europe and has further development potential as a hub in southeast Europe. For instance the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which by 2020 will transit Azeri gas to western Europe including Italy, runs for much of its route across northern Greece. Snam, Fluxys and Enagas have respectively 20%, 19% and 16% equity stakes in TAP.

Greek energy minister George Stathakis, said: "We have arrived at the end of a long journey to privatise Desfa. In its early stages it has been turbulent and with many reversals, but today's government has managed to solve the issues of compatibility with EU law, to secure a significantly higher price and to secure strong rights for the state, such as defining the position of the president of the company." He also said Greece had succeeded in securing a 34% premium to the €400mn originally intended for the 66% Desfa stake.