April 11, 2019 / 1:55 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Greece's Public Power Corp mulls securitising overdue bills

(Recasts with company comment, adds detail and background)

ATHENS, April 11 (Reuters) - Greek utility Public Power Corp (PPC) is considering the securitisation of part of its backlog of unpaid bills, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday, as repayment looms next month on an existing bond.

Chief Executive Manolis Panagiotakis said in January that declining profit was making it harder to issue debt, but was confident PPC would repay a 350 million euro ($394 million) bond due in May.

In a brief statement following a report in Ta Nea newspaper, the company said it was examining all available financing options in order to deal with overdue receivables.

It said the securitisation, which would not involve an outright sale to third parties, was intended to enhance its liquidity profile as well as to recover money owed by what it termed strategic defaulters. It gave no further detail.

PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned, said previously it had hired an adviser to help collect part of its overdue bills worth more than 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) that were left unpaid in austerity-hit Greece in recent years. It didn’t name the adviser.

Citing unnamed sources, Ta Nea newspaper said PPC will seek to raise between 200 and 300 million euros via a bond which would be covered by outstanding debts. It said Deutsche Bank and Finacity have been organising the process.

The utility previously said it was examining options to raise 300 to 400 million euros from debt markets this year, including a 5-year bond. ($1 = 0.8879 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Jan Harvey and David Holmes)

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