March 23, 2020 / 5:19 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Greece gets 9 non-binding bids for stake in gas supplier DEPA Commercial

(Add detail, background)

ATHENS, March 23 (Reuters) - Greece has received nine non-binding bids for the sale of a 65% stake in its dominant gas supplier DEPA Commercial, its privatisation agency said on Monday.

Investors who have expressed an interest in the stake include Shell Gas, Vitol Holding, Power Globe, MET Holding and C.G. Gas Limited of Greece’s Copelouzos group, the agency said in a statement.

The other bidders are a joint venture of Hellenic Petroleum and Edison, a joint venture of Motor Oil and Public Power Corp, industrial group Mytilineos and contractor GEK Terna, it added.

The deadline for the submission of non-binding bids expired at 1500 GMT on Monday.

The Greek government is selling the stake as part of the terms of the country’s final bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, to help open up the market.

Hellenic Petroleum holds the remaining 35% stake in the gas utility.

Athens and Hellenic have agreed that if Hellenic does not acquire the 65% stake, it will sell its remaining holding to the preferred investor, which will then own the whole company.

DEPA is Greece’s dominant importer of pipeline and liquefied natural gas via long-term supply contracts and its main gas supplier, with more than 350,000 retail customers in the wider Athens area.

After evaluating the offers, the agency will decide which investors qualify to submit binding bids. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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