Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO) has sold 49 percent of its stake to Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Group (MIRA), the highest bidder.
Spear WTE Investments Sarl, member of MIRO is the highest bidder in a tender to buy 49 percent of HEDNO offering 2.116 billion euros (3.7 billion Australian dollars).
HEDNO S.A. was formed by the separation of the Distribution Department from Public Power Corporation S.A. (DEH), according to L.4001/2011 and in compliance with 2009/72/EC EU Directive relative to the electricity market organization.
HEDNO, a PPC subsidiary, is independent in operation and management retaining all the independence requirements that are incorporated within the above mentioned legislation.
HEDNO is the biggest privatization in Greece
The sale of the HEDNO stake is the biggest privatization in Greece, according to PPC.
The PPC administration was not expected to accept anything less than 1.5 billion euros as HEDNO’s book value is 3 billion euros.
According to PPC, the offer reflects a valuation to RAB of 151 percent.
PPC’s objective is to have completed this partial privatization by the end of the year.
The operator’s regulated earnings for 2021 to 2024 begin at 771 million euros and reach 798 million euros in 2024.
For this partial privatization, PPC will put 1.311 billion euros in its coffers, a fact of particular importance for the company’s future.
This is because part of this money from HEDNO, 650 million euros specifically, as the PPC management announced, will be used to finance its investment plan.
At the same time, PPC will tidy up its finances. The net debt to operating profit will fall to European levels, i.e. below 3, according to company sources.
However, PPC is to lose 49 percent of a subsidiary that was capable of making profits steadily, in the long term.
This is because HEDNO has a high guaranteed return of almost 7 percent, being one of the few European network operators with such consistently high revenues each year.
Main opposition says ‘government sells off public wealth’
Main opposition Syriza-Progressive Alliance lambasted the Greek government on Friday night, accusing it of selling out public wealth by selling HEDNO.
Furthermore, they accuse the Kyriakos Mitsotakis government of “celebrating the sale of HEDNO’s electricity distribution network to an Australian company.”
“The privatization of energy networks and infrastructures built by the backlog of the Greek taxpayer and are the property of our people cannot be valued in market terms,” said the party’s statement.
“When faced with conditions defined by energy transition and pricing crises, all advanced countries are strengthening public control over such networks and infrastructures.”
“The Mitsotakis government sells off public wealth, impoverishes society, rules in favor of private interests, and they will soon be billed accordingly by Greek society,” the statement concluded.
Privatizations have been one of the prerequisites of the 2015 bailout program signed by the Greek government and the country’s lenders.