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Greece Wants Sweeter Deal For OPAP

OPAPGreece’s lagging privatization effort hit another bump when its biggest money-maker, the gambling monopoly OPAP, received only one bidder with an offer so low the government has asked for it to be bumped up.
Only the Greek-Czech investment fund Emma Delta has made an offer, an official close to the sale told Reuters. Greece wants Emma Delta to boost its price to 650 million euros ($849.1 million) for a 33 percent stake in the agency.
Emma Delta, controlled by Czech investor Jiri Smejc, Greek shipowner George Melisanidis and Greek businessman Dimitris Copelouzos, bid 622 million euros ($810.50 million), another official said.
The state privatization fund TAIPED began negotiations with Emma Delta to ask for more money although it’s the only game in town and Greece has little leverage.
The two bids for the controlling stake in the betting company that were submitted last week were opened on April 22, with only Emma Delta’s deemed valid, even though its price offer was below that originally expected by TAIPED, which gave the company 48 hours to make a better offer.
The other suitor, Third Point, a New York investment company,  was considered to have violated the terms of the tender because it set as a condition the ability to sell its stake in OPAP without TAIPED being able to participate in the capital gains.
The newspaper Kathimerini said that the relevant condition of the tender provided that if the strategic investor decided within three years to sell its stake, it would have to pay 50 percent of the capital gains to TAIPED, a term that Third Point reportedly rejected, ruling itself out of the process.

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