BUSINESS

Progress on key sell-off fronts of Elliniko and OLTH

EVA KARAMANOLI, ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations

Two key steps for the implementation of much-needed privatization projects in Greece were taken on Thursday, with the Council of State approving the draft presidential decree for the development of the old Athens airport at Elliniko, and Parliament’s ratification of the concession contract for Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH).

Satisfying one of the few prior actions left before the third bailout review can be officially wrapped up, the plenary of the country’s highest administrative court approved the decree that defines the terms of the Elliniko development, deeming that the Integrated Development Plan included complies with the Greek Constitution.

Sources from investor Lamda Development expressed reserved satisfaction to Kathimerini on Thursday, noting the “acceleration of the state’s action toward the completion of the pending issues stemming from the concession contract as approved by Parliament.”

Other outstanding matters before the Elliniko concession can be sealed include the issue of the casino license, the vacating of the area by its current users, a series of ministerial decisions for the implementation of the presidential decree and the setup of a special entity for the management and operation of all public spaces on the plot.

Also on Thursday Parliament ratified the contract between the state and the South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki consortium for the concession of the controlling stake (67 percent) in OLTH. The upcoming publication of the ratification in the Government Gazette paves the way for the payment of the 231.9-million-euro price to state sell-off fund TAIPED, expected by March 10.

The transaction will take place via the stock market through a share exchange of the listed company’s controlling stake. This will be followed by the resignation of OLTH board members and the appointment of a new board by the new stakeholder.

The contract provides for the consortium, consisting of Terminal Link, Deutsche Invest Equity Partners and Belterra Investments, to implement investments of 180 million euros in OLTH in the next seven years.

Online