YEREVAN, September 20, /ARKA/. Azerbaijani state energy company SOCAR has announced that it will acquire the Greek natural gas transmission network operator DESFA through public funds; RBC reported citing Trend news agency.
The governing board of the Greek state privatization fund TAIPED approved SOCAR’s revised offer for a 66 percent stake of DESFA in early August. SOCAR Vice-President Suleyman Gasimov said that the acquisition of DESFA assets for 400 million euros will be ensured by an increase of SOCAR's capital.
"DESFA is very attractive as an investment project. We believe that the profitability of the project will be satisfactory for both SOCAR and for the state," Gasimov said.
SOCAR offered 400 million euros for the purchase of 66 percent of shares, including 31 percent of the shares owned by the Greek state privatization fund and 35 percent of Hellenic Petroleum's stock.
A final decision of the European Commission on the transfer to SOCAR's control of the 66 percent stake in DESFA is expected in the second quarter of 2014. The Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund (HRADF) will have the control over the sold part of the shares till the end of the transfer.
DESFA is a division of the Greek state gas company DEPA, whose privatization failed in June due to the lack of formal bids including that from Russian giant Gazprom, which had been considered the most likely buyer of DEPA.
The purchase of equity in DESFA will allow SOCAR to participate in various investment projects in the Balkan countries and, in particular, to be involved in the process of gas supply in Albania, which is currently insufficient. -0-