Minister: SOCAR’s DESFA deal to be completed once Italy’s Snam buys 17% share

The deal on SOCAR’s purchasing the 66-percent share in Greece’s gas transmission system operator DESFA will be completed after Italy’s Snam purchases 17 percent of that share, Natig Aliyev, Azerbaijani energy minister, said in an interview with ANS TV channel May 23.

According to the Greek side, the issue on DESFA must be resolved before late 2016, he added.

“SOCAR must sell 17 percent of its share to a third party and retain at least 49 percent for the deal to be approved by the European Commission,” the minister said. “Negotiations on the issue are underway. Those 17 percent will be sold to Italy’s Snam and the issue on DESFA will be resolved.”

SOCAR won a tender in 2013 on the purchase of a 66-percent stake in DESFA for 400 million euros.

The European Commission started an inquiry into the compliance of the DESFA deal with the EU regulations in November 2014.

Currently, the deal is being considered by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition.

Snam will acquire 17 percent of SOCAR’s 66-percent share in DESFA, Stergios Pitsiorlas, head of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), said earlier.

Source: Trend News Agency