Norton Rose Fulbright advises on unbundling and partial privatisation of Greek Electricity TSO

Global Business July 31, 2017

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the Hellenic Republic on the ownership unbundling of the Greek power grid operator, ADMIE, from the Public Power Corporation (PPC), and the partial privatisation of ADMIE through the sale of a 24% interest to the State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid).

PPC is Greece’s vertically integrated power generation and electricity supply company. The transaction entailed PPC divesting a 24% interest in ADMIE to State Grid for €327.6m; a 25% interest to DES ADMIE, a state-owned SPV, for €295.6m; and transferring the remaining 51% interest to ADMIE Holding, an SPV owned by PPC’s shareholders. The transaction also included the capitalisation of ADMIE reserves amounting to €131m that were distributed to PPC through a subsequent decrease in ADMIE share capital.

Norton Rose Fulbright assisted the Hellenic Republic in the structuring of this complex multi-staged transaction, which was successfully negotiated with the European Commission, acting on behalf of the European Stability Mechanism, as well as the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are involved in the Greek support programme.

Dimitris Assimakis, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright comments:

“This has been a highly complex and challenging transaction that was completed in just 15 months. Within the pressing timeline and the government debt limitations set out under the third support programme, the Hellenic Republic successfully achieved its two main objectives, to secure State control over the Greek electricity transmission system and enable the participation of a significant strategic investor, such as State Grid, in ADMIE."

The firm also assisted in drafting relevant legislation for the implementation of the transaction structure, subsequent amendments to the law and advised across a range of matters throughout the process, such as the shareholders agreement with State Grid and obtaining all necessary approvals from EU and national authorities. The work culminated in the successful completion of the transaction on 20 June 2017.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Vassilis Koroxenidis and Dimitris Assimakis who were assisted by senior associate Minas Kitsilis and associate Sergios Karotsieris in Athens. The team also included partner Christian Filippitsch and senior associate Max Seuster in Brussels who advised on merger control, state aid and EU energy regulatory matters.

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