Fluxys appeals to EIB to finance stake purchase in DESFA

Fluxys appeals to EIB to finance stake purchase in DESFA

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 17

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

The Belgian Fluxys has appealed to the infrastructure fund of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to attract financing for the purchase of 17 percent stake in the DESFA Greek gas operator, the Belgian media reported Dec.17.

Purchasing a stake in DESFA by Fluxys has important geo-strategic importance and will enable the company to participate in the distribution of natural gas from Azerbaijan and the Middle East to Europe.

Earlier, representatives of Fluxys (Belgium) have agreed on the alliance with Enagas (Spain) regarding the participation in the acquisition of a 17 percent stake from 66 percent shares package in Greece's DESFA. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) said that it has received a formal proposal from the alliance.

The Belgian company, which already has technical cooperation with DESFA, shows an interest to 8 percent and Enagas to 11 percent of shares.

Energy Minister Panos Skourletis said 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.

An informal interest in DESFA has been expressed by Dutch company Gasunie.

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.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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