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Greece Gives OPAP Bidder More Time

opap_702-bigUnhappy with the only bid made for its gambling monopoly OPAP, Greece’s privatization agency has given Greek-Czech fund Emma Delta more time to raise its stakes,   two officials directly involved in the sale talks told Reuters.
“They asked for and were given a postponement until Wednesday, May 1,” said one official at the agency, who declined to be named, after a first deadline expired. An official at Emma Delta confirmed the move.
Emma Delta, controlled by Czech investor Jiri Smejc and Greek shipowner George Melisanidis has offered 622 million euros ($808 million) for 33 percent of OPAP and management rights at the company.
Emma Delta submitted the only valid bid in the sale, Greece’s first big privatization under its international bailout program. New York’s Third Point set conditions for its bid the agency didn’t want to meet. Privatization agency HRADF asked the fund to raise its offer to at least 650 million euros ($849. million,) the stake’s minimum value as estimated by an external assessor.
Deutsche Bank and National Bank, Greece’s main sale advisors, had put the stake’s value at 610 million euros ($797.59 million.) OPAP shares were up 0.3 percent to 6.9 euros ($9.02) in early trading in Athens, giving a 33 percent stake in the company a stock market value of 726 million euros, ($949.17 million.)
Despite bargain-basement sales, Greece is having trouble getting interest from investors in its state entities, many of which are huge money-losers. Its’ international creditors are pressing for a faster pace of sell-offs.

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