ATHENS – Greece’s attempt to sell a controlling stake in the natural gas transmission network operator DESFA to Azerbaijan’s Socar could collapse after a ruling from the European Commission.
Socar Chief Executive Officer Rovnag Abdullayev said that, “The process is more complicated when it come to European Union member states. With Greece being an EU member, we also have to go through this procedure. The relevant work is under way and Greece needs this particular sale. Otherwise, there are many other places for investments and more profitable projects, but Greece is interested in this,” said the Socar head.
This is the first time that Socar has expressed any doubt about the completion of the acquisition which has remained pending for 17 months. It is also the first time it has distanced itself from the handling and development of the issue to date.
The EU said that that would subject the transfer of a 66 percent in Greece’s DESFA to the Azeri company to an in-depth examination. The deal was a key linchpin in Greece’s flagging privatization effort insisted upon by its international lenders.