The managers of Cretan coastal shipping firm ANEK and Attica Group are in talks with crediting banks about a merger through the absorption of ANEK by Attica, which is also involved in the Greek ferry market.
The objective is for the fleet of Blue Star, Superfast, Hellenic Seaways and ANEK ferries to operate under a single management. Next summer has been set as the target.
Such a merger would meet several objectives at once, as it would resolve problems in ANEK’s finances and save the historic Hania-based coastal shipping company, whose enterprise value may reach or exceed 1 billion euros within three years. It also ensures that the islands continue to be connected with the mainland, without interruption.
Crucially, it further grants Attica Group the size and profile required for it to meet the over-arching challenge of financing the transformation of its fleet in line with new environmental standards.
ANEK is burdened with loans of 250 million euros, with additional obligations to suppliers and other third parties amounting to €50 million. The deal on the table provides for a significant haircut of bank loans and guarantees the repayment of suppliers.