Italy’s Snam confirms interest in DESFA stake

Italy’s Snam confirms interest in DESFA stake

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

The first formal expression of interest in the 17 percent stake in Greek natural gas transmission network operator DESFA was received by state sell-off fund TAIPED from Snam, the operator of the Italian network, while the government is anticipating a bid from a Greek consortium too, the Greek Ekathimerini portal said.

Energy Minister Panos Skourletis said that an offer from a Greek consortium is also to be expected, without offering any further details, according to the portal. He did stress that for the completion of the sale of the 49 percent controlling stake in DESFA to Azerbaijani state firm SOCAR, another 17 percent must be sold to a European Union firm, with the SOCAR also having a say in the selection of the new stakeholder, for the process to clear the hurdle of European Union rules.

"An informal interest in DESFA has been expressed by Fluxys and Dutch company Gasunie in the past," said the message.

SOCAR won a tender in December 2013 on the sale of 66-percent share in DESFA for 400 million euros.

The European Commission started an inquiry into the compliance of the deal on acquisition of a stake in DESFA with the EU's regulations In November 2014. Currently, the deal is being considered by European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition, and the procedure will last until late 2015.

SOCAR is the sole producer of oil products in Azerbaijan. It has two oil refineries and filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland. The company is the co-owner of the largest Turkish petrochemical complex, Petkim, and other assets in Turkey.

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