Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
The European Commission's suspension of the review of a deal for the purchase of 66 percent stake in the Greek gas transportation operator DESFA by Azerbaijan's State Oil Company (SOCAR) will create conditions to make a decision that would satisfy both parties, SOCAR said Feb. 4.
The company said in a message that it continues to closely cooperate with the European Commission to prepare an agreed solution associated with the European Commission's remarks as part of the initial assessment of the acquisition of shares in DESFA by SOCAR.
"The European Commission temporarily suspended the review of the deal within the formal set timeframe," SOCAR said.
SOCAR said this will give the parties additional time for making a decision acceptable to both sides, and for the European Commission to analyze this issue in the future.
It was noted in the message that the suspension of the process in this way is the usual case when considering the agreements on merger or purchase of companies.
"SOCAR positively assesses the progress made to date as part of the process of review of this agreement, the final decision on which is the prerogative of the European Commission," read the message.
European media outlets reported on Nov. 6, 2014, that EU's antimonopoly authority started a check-up of the impending deal on SOCAR's purchase of DESFA.
European officials became concerned that the level of competition in the gas market of Greece will drop.
It should be noted that in January 2015, a new government came to power in Greece.
Greece's minister of productive reconstruction, environment and energy, Panagiotis Lafazanis said the Greek side would define the next steps regarding this deal, after the decision of the European Commission.
SOCAR intends to acquire two-thirds of DESFA for 400 million euros.
SOCAR includes production associations Azneft (the enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore), Azerkimya (the chemical industry enterprises) and Azerigaz.
The company also has a number of processing enterprises, service enterprises, institutions involved in geophysical and drilling operations.
SOCAR is the sole producer of oil products in Azerbaijan. It has two oil refineries on its balance sheet, and also owns filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.
Edited by CN