Romanian Transgaz, the natural gas transmission system operator, has submitted a joint letter of intention together with French GRTgaz for the acquisition of a 66 percent stake in Greek DESFA, the operator of the gas distribution network, according to Profit.ro.

The negotiations have kicked off after DESFA failed to reach a deal with Azeri oil major SOCAR.

DESFA ensure the transport of natural gas from Bulgaria and Turkey. The company recorded sales of EUR 170 million last year, while its net profit stood at EUR 34 million.

The company has attracted bids from other energy players across the globe including Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Ltd/ Snam (Italy), Engas Internacional (Spain), BFluxys (Belgium) and Gasunie (The Netherlands) or Powerglobe LLC from Qatar.

Last year, Transgaz signed a memorandum of understanding with DESFA for the “common approach of existing and future projects for gas transport”.