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GreekReporter.comBusinessSweet Deal For OPAP: $937.8M

Sweet Deal For OPAP: $937.8M

GR OPAP(1) Greece has sold its 33 percent stake in the gambling monopoly OPAP to a Czech-Greek consortium, Emma Delta, in a deal that will bring in 712 million euros ($937.8 million) some 30 million euros ($39.4 million) higher than an original offer but 18 million euros ($23.69 million) less than what the government hoped to realize in its first major privatization deal.
The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) announced the deal to the group owned by Jiri Smejc and Greek ship owner George Melisanidis and said it would be profitable for the country. TAIPED stated that, “If OPAP wasn’t privatized, the state would collect a dividend for the 2013 financial year of just 13 million euros, and over the next decade it would get no more than 360 million euros, which is about 50 percent of the amount it is getting through the privatization.”
A total of 622 million euros ($818.7 million) – the original offer – will be paid in a lump sum upon the signing of the agreement, while another 60 million euros ($78.97 million) represents the state’s dividend for 2012. That will be paid to TAIPED by the new owner, and the additional 30 million euros will be paid over the next decade, probably in 10 installments of 3 million euros per annum.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras hailed the deal even though it fell a little short of the mark. He said that, “Investment funds’ confidence in the Greek economy is being proved.”
TAIPED is said to have decided to extend the deadline for the submission of bids for gas companies DEPA and DESFA by another 10 days, to May 20, upon the request of Russian energy giant Gazprom, on the grounds that the Easter holidays stops business in both countries.

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