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Greece transfers 33% stake in OPAP to Emma Delta

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The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) transferred today, after having secured all necessary approvals, a 33% stake in OPAP to the Emma Delta fund. 

On 12 August 2013, the Emma Delta equity fund clinched a deal with Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund S.A (TAIPED), the Greek privatisation agency for the purchase of a 33% stake in OPAP at a cost of EUR 652 million.

Last week Emma Delta placed EUR 400 million of senior secured notes to partially finance the acquisition of a stake in OPAP. The placement was made through Emma Delta’s subsidiary Emma Delta Finance plc. The notes will be used in combination with the EUR 272 million already provided by individual investors to Emma Delta to fund the purchase of a 33.0% stake in OPAP.

The full privatisation (the state will own just 1% of OPAP post-deal) represents a key milestone in OPAP’s history, says Pantelakis Securities in its morning report. “New private management could drive innovation, accelerate the rollout of new games, optimise the capital structure and press harder for cost savings on all fronts: the market has already started to discount such prospects. In addition, the successful completion of this sale represents a flagship deal in Greece’s long-delayed privatisation agenda (2013 target asset-sale proceeds have been now cut to EUR1.6bn, but they are again likely to be slightly missed), highlighting the government’s commitment to its promises, while a foreign investment acts as a broader vote of confidence for the Greek economy”, Pantelakis Securities adds and it concludes noting that the sale of a 33% stake will not automatically trigger a mandatory public offer for minorities, since the new strategic investor will still own below 1/3 of total voting rights, while, in any case, under Greek takeover rules, privatisations are explicitly exempted from the obligation of minorities buy-out.

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