By Anestis Dokas
The winning bid for the acquisition of a 82.33 percent stake in Hellenic Sugar Industry will be announced by the end of the month, with four suitors vying for the controlling package in the ATEbank-owned company.
Nikos Marantos, the special liquidator appointed to deal with ATEbank’s problematic side (the healthy one has been sold to Piraeus Bank), informed the stock market on Thursday that “in the context of the tender, the bank has received valid binding offers from four companies: They are Cristal Financiere SAS, part of the French group Cristal Union, Krajowa Spolka Cukrowa SA from Poland, Bulgarian firm Litex Commerce JSC and Sunoko d.o.o. Novi Sad from Serbia.”
One of the clauses that the buyer will have to abide by is keeping the company’s jobs secure and its plants open. Hellenic Sugar Industry has three production plants, all in northern Greece: two in Macedonia, at Platy in Imathia and at Serres, and one in Thrace, just outside Orestiada. It also has a standardization plant in Larissa, and another in Xanthi that is all but nonoperative.
Sources have told Kathimerini that the French and Polish bids have the edge, with the French offering a net price of 103 million euros and the Poles showing the greatest interest after visiting Greece to learn more about the company’s activities.