The largest privatization deal so far in Greece is underway as Spear WTE Investments, part of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Group (MIRA), placed the highest bid for a minority stake in the country’s power distribution system operator HEDNO. The government is also about to sell DEPA Infrastructure to Italgas for EUR 733 million.
State-owned Public Power Corp. (PPC) is on the brink of a deal that exceeded its expectations by far. The biggest offer for a 49% stake in Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator – HEDNO or DEDDIE came in at over EUR 2.1 billion. Spear WTE Investments, part of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Group (MIRA), had the highest bid.
If PPC decides to move forward with the transaction, the member of the Australian investment firm is also becoming responsible for EUR 804 million of the Greek distribution system operator’s debt. Nine bidders participated in the tender.
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Group is run by Macquarie Asset Management, the world’s biggest infrastructure asset manager and an operating group within Sydney-based Macquarie, an investment bank and financial services provider.
Proceeds to be directed to debt payoff, investments
CVC Capital Partners Group, First Sentier Investors Group and KKR Group also submitted binding bids. At the offered amount, it would be the biggest privatization deal in the country so far. PPC was hoping the stake would be valued at a minimum of EUR 1.5 billion.
HEDNO plans to invest EUR 1.5 billion by 2023 in network upgrades. The projects include the installation of smart meters and moving electricity lines below ground.
If the transaction goes through, PPC is entitled to EUR 1.3 billion, which it said it would use to pay off debt and invest in green energy through its subsidiary PPC Renewables. The rest is earmarked for HEDNO’s investments.
Italgas gives best offer for gas distributor DEPA Infrastructure
In other news, Italgas was just declared to be the highest bidder in the tender for the takeover of state-controlled gas distribution network DEPA Infrastructure, separated earlier from the Public Gas Corp. of Greece (DEPA). The Italian company offered EUR 733 million. Hellenic Petroleum – ELPE, which holds 35% of DEPA Infrastructure, said the bid was fair.
The government said DEPA Commerce (DEPA Commercial) would be sold after DEPA Infrastructure. The gas supplier, importer and trader, in which ELPE owns 35%, has said it would add 200 MW in renewable energy capacity within four years including acquisitions and spend EUR 200 million on investments in hydrogen, biomethane and electromobility.
Of note, MIRA agreed a year ago to buy seven firms in Romania from ČEZ Group including the 600 MW Fântânele-Cogealac onshore wind farm, the largest in Europe.