At $2.5 bn, Russia's Sintez emerges highest bidder for Greek energy firm DEPA: report

Sintez Group, a privately-held Russian energy company, has tabled a €1.9-billion ($2.5 billion) offer for Greek gas company DEPA, making it the highest bidder, Russia's business daily Kommersant today reported, citing a banking source.

Other bidders for DEPA include Russia's state-owned gas giant Gazprom, Azerbaijan state-owned energy company Socar and two Greek firms.

Greece's state-owned gas company DEPA along with its natural gas grid operating unit DESFA was put on sale by the Greek government as part of its privatisation drive in order to pay the country's huge debt.

Last month, Sintez, controlled by Russian tycoon Leonid Lebedev had said that it had moved to the final round of bidding, which would close on 12 April.

Andrey Korolev, CEO of Sintez had said that his being an independent company, it does not have the conflicts of interests as with some other bidders, who are state-owned gas producers.

He assured that if Sintez emerges as the winning bidder, Sintez will be committed to comply in full with EU energy regulation, while at the same time diversifying gas supplies and investing in infrastructure to transform Greece into a natural gas transit hub.