The head of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRAF), Riccardo Lambridis described the sale of a controlling stake in Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s largest oil refiner, as a major milestone in Greece’s privatisation efforts.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Lambridis said that Wednesday’s announcement of the sale of a majority stake has already attracted “interest from a number of good quality investors”.

“Paneuropean Oil & Industrial Holdings SA and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, the refiner’s first and second-largest shareholders, have signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint sale of at least 50.1 percent of Hellenic Petroleum,” Bloomberg reported, citing the company’s announcement.

The sale of HRAC’s stake is a key bailout condition set by Greece’s lenders.

Paneuropean Oil is owned by the Latsis Group, and has a 45.5 percent stake.

“The HRAC will begin the process of an international tender, with the aim of completing it by the end of the year, which means a swift procedure, with the preferred investor being declared before the end of summer,” Lambridis said.

Though Lambridis did not reveal the target price, he said that, “We expect interested parties to take into account a series of parameters, such as the exceptionally strong performance of Hellenic Petroleum, the improvement of the Greek economy, and the fact that we are offering a majority stake with management.”

Lambridis projected that the interest of international investors in Greek state assets will grow, as economic conditions improve.