Over 10 firms consider bidding for Turkish gas grid -sources

ANKARA Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:06am EST

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ANKARA Jan 16 (Reuters) - More than 10 companies are interested in bidding for Turkish natural gas distributor Baskent Gaz in a privatisation tender, and even more firms are waiting on the sidelines to partner with the winner, sources close to the matter said.

Turkey's state Privatisation Administration (OIB) on Dec. 6 postponed by a month the tender to sell 100 percent of Baskent Gaz, which has 1.35 million subscribers in Ankara, after investors asked for more time to secure financing and examine the company closely.

The current deadline for bids is on Friday.

The sources said that interested companies included Spain's Gas Natural, Turkey's Sabanci Holding, Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubdala and Turkish investors on behalf of Iran's national gas company NIGC.

Other potential Turkish contenders included Eksim Yatirim Holding, Nurol Holding, Turkerler-Gama OGG, Genpa, Akfen-STFA OGG, Fernas, Zorlu Holding, Limak and Tasyapi, they said.

High valuations and tough funding conditions during the euro zone crisis have forced the postponement of several Turkish privatisation tenders in recent years.

The OIB in April cancelled a previous planned sale of an 80 percent stake in Baskent for $626 million after all four bidding groups withdrew. (Reporting by Ozge Ozbilgin; Writing by Seltem Iyigun; editing by Jane Baird)

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