PPC picks up hunt for 2.7 bln euros of unpaid customer bills

Power company PPC is aiming to recover some 40 million euros per month in money owed by customers as part of a push by the new management to crack down on those who have skipped on bills worth 2.7 billion euros.

Power company PPC is aiming to recover some 40 million euros per month in money owed by customers as part of a push by the new management to crack down on those who have skipped on bills worth 2.7 billion euros. PPC will also have the administrative support of Qualco after renewing its contract in July for some 15 million euros.

The target is considered to be feasible based on previous experience and the new management's tougher stance on customers owing money. Steps on this front in the last year earnt the company some 400 million euros, outpacing goals set by Qualco targetting revenues of 220 million euros in a 24 month period. PPC has now upped the bar and is targetting annual revenues from outstanding customer debts of 480 million euros, an increase of 20 percent.

PPC's advisers are also planning to move ahead with the securitization of these amounts, along with plans to improve the rate at which customers pay for services.

PPC head Giorgos Stassis is currently focusing on the securitization plan that is progressing at a rapid pace and will cover debts of up to two billion euros. "The goal is for the securitization to draw quality investors and not portfolios that take positions in distressed assets," says one PPC official.

The first batch of securitized loans relates to amounts that have been outstanding for up to 60 days. They will be offered to investors in the next two months, or by the end of the year, at the latest. The plan foresees customer debts being paid into a special purpose vehicle (SPV), while older debts will be transferred to a second SPV under another securitization.

Although specific amounts have not been disclosed, some estimates place the amount that the former state monopoly can earn from the two securitizations at around 400 to 500 million euros. Debts of some 800 million euros, left behind by customers that switched power company, will be among those securitized, officials say.

The push to boost revenue collection rates and move ahead with securitizations is part of a broader plan that will be implemented in the coming months at PPC. Other initiatives include focusing on changes to PPC's commercial policy and expansion into new areas such as natural gas.

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