BUSINESS

Two Chinese suitors for Ethniki

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Business, Privatizations

The new process for the sale of 75 percent of Ethniki Insurance is starting for Chinese groups Fosun and Gongbao.

The process approved yesterday by the governing board of the parent group, National Bank of Greece, provides for the immediate opening of the data rooms so the two candidate buyers can update their offers based on the financial figures of Greece’s biggest insurance company for 2017. This will be followed by negotiations aimed at improving the bids, with the procedure set for completion by June, probably before the group’s annual general meeting.

The decision to launch the process for the two Chinese groups was made unequivocally by the board, leaving out another Chinese group, Wintime, whose request to participate was not accepted.

The proposal to invite two bidders from the first tender, instead of only negotiating with Fosun, came from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, in an effort to ensure greater competition and bring about a better price. This may not satisfy Fosun, which had sought to be the exclusive negotiating group, but it has reiterated its commitment to acquiring the controlling stake in Ethniki, so it remains in the running.
 

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