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OPAP: Emma Delta bid at EUR5.91/share

Emma Delta offered EUR 622mn (plus the 2012 dividend of EUR 60mn) for the 33% of the company, implying a price of EUR 6.48 vs current market price of EUR 7.08.

HRADF asked a new improved offer, which should be submitted by Thursday, given that the offer was below the lowest limit of the independent valuation (EUR 650mn plus the dividend).

Third Point’s offer was not unsealed due to violation of rules of the tender. Reportedly, Third Point wanted no time limitations for the disposal of the stake. 

Emma Delta is backed by Czech investor Jiri Smejc and Greek ship-owner George Melisanidis. Helvason, a firm controlled by Greek businessman Dimitris Copelouzos, is also part of the joint bid. Greece had earlier received only two binding bids for the stake, which has a market value of about 740 million euros ($964 million).

The sale of a 33 percent stake in OPAP, Greeces most profitable company, is considered a test case for a privatisation programme under the countrys international bailout.

But the sale attracted little international interest, highlighting Greeces economic problems and uncertain prospects for OPAP, which faces tax rises and whose monopoly is being challenged.

Greeces advisors National Bank and Deutsche Bank have estimated the value of the 33 percent OPAP stake, plus management rights, at 610 million euros and an independent advisor at a minimum 650 million, one of the officials said.

Emma Deltas offer represents a discount of 16 percent based on OPAPs closing share price of 7.08 euro on Monday. Another official close to the sale said that privatisation agency would ask for an improved offer exceeding 650 million euros.

"We will definitely not sell below 650 million," the first official said to Reuters.

Shares in OPAP have gained 30 percent so far this year, outperforming Athens bourses general index which rose 2 percent in the same period.
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