SOCAR announces reasons for delay on purchase of Greek gas operator’s share (UPDATE)

Business Materials 19 March 2015 14:44 (UTC +04:00)

Details added (First version posted on 14:42)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.19

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

The reason for delaying the deal on acquisition of 66 percent share in the Greek gas operator DESFA by SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) are heavy bureaucratic procedures in Europe, President of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev told reporters March 19 during the opening of a new office building of "Neftgaztikinti" trust.

He said that a large group of employees of SOCAR continues work on this project.

"The new government of Greece has nothing against this issue," said Abdullayev. "They say they respect the decisions taken by the previous government. We also respect these decisions and we believe that this project is very profitable. It will play an important role in the further development of the gas field in Azerbaijan. Companies that export gas to Europe are very different from each other, and we also need to comply with existing rules."

In December 2013, SOCAR won the tender for acquisition of 66 percent stake in DESFA for 400 million euros. The remaining shares will belong to Greece.

But in November 2014, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation to determine whether the acquisition of DESFA SOCAR is in line with the EU Merger Regulation.

European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition has postponed the time of reviewing the deal on purchasing 66 percent of share in Greek DESFA gas transmission system operator by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).

Previously, it was assumed to take place before March 23, however, the final date has been extended until April 22.


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