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JP Morgan Investment a “Vote of Confidence in Viva Wallet and Greece”

Viva Wallet JP Morgan
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets staff at Viva Wallet’s offices on Thursday. Credit: AMNA

Greece’s PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated the staff of Viva Wallet on Thursday for signing a deal with American banking giant JP Morgan and said that the investment is “a vote of confidence in the company and Greece.”

“I consider this investment a very significant vote of confidence in the company but also in the potential of the country. I am particularly glad that innovative Greek companies can distinguish themselves.

“Greece is not just a country that supports itself through tourism and its wonderful beaches but also has human resources in the technology sector which make us optimistic that technology will make up an ever-increasing part of the country’s GDP,” the prime minister said.

JP Morgan acquires approximately 49% of Viva Wallet

Greece’s “unicorn” Viva Wallet signed a deal with American banking giant JP Morgan by which the latter acquired approximately 49 percent of the online bank.

Major Viva Wallet shareholders Haris Karonis and Makis Antypas maintain the majority stake of 51 percent and will continue to run the company

“Unicorn” is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a private startup company with a value of over $1 billion.

According to reports, JPMorgan valued Viva Wallet Holdings at $2 billion, with the American giant paying close to half of that for the share acquisition.

Mitsotakis hails stock options offer for Viva Wallet staff

Following the agreement, Viva Wallet announced that 200 executives of the company will receive from 50,000 euros up to 4 million euros in cash and stock options.

Mitsotakis expressed his satisfaction that the company was putting the legislation on employee stock options into practice and that the surplus value this created was reaching all employees.

“For me this is the new model for business management. This – let us say – participatory capitalism surrounding startups is the model of the future. It is that which finally links the success of the company with the prosperity of the worker,” he said, adding that this new culture of collective work was also apparent in other Greek startups.

Karonis noted that the specific investment was combined with a move leading to a maturation of the share option plan for the company employees, noting that this was brought about by the government’s legislation “with very good results”.

The prime minister also outlined the broader network of policies to support employment and worker incomes, such as the abolition of the solidarity levy and lowering of employer contributions, as well as changes to promote the digital transformation of the state sector, which he described as “revolutionary” in terms of the interactions between the state and individuals.

Mitsotakis was shown around the company’s facilities and met with its management and staff.

The prime minister’s visit was carried out one week after his meeting with JPMorgan & Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, following the bank’s decision to acquire 48.5 pct of Viva Wallet.

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