Gov?t to sell as much as 70 pct of Elliniko project

Greece will sell as much as 70 percent of the company with the rights to manage and develop the Elliniko airport site outside of Athens, according to TAIPED?s (the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund?s) executive director for real estate.

?Between 66 and 70 percent will be sold in the tender,? Andreas Taprantzis said in an interview in his Athens office this week.

The site, which includes Athens?s former international airport, covers 6.2 million square meters of land, three times the size of Monaco. It will be one of the largest development sites in Europe.

The Hellenic Real Estate Fund last month started a public tender process for a majority stake in Elliniko SA, which will hold the rights to develop the site under a long-term lease.

The sale is part of the fund?s effort to raise 65 billion euros by 2015 from state-owned assets to help Greece raise cash to cut debt.

?When the project is sold on at some point in time we, or whoever is in charge of the fund at that time, may decide to sell the stake or retain it,? said Costas Mitropoulos, chief executive officer of the fund.

Mitropoulos declined to disclose the duration of the lease or the revenue it could generate, saying only that it will last ?decades? and be long enough for the developer and its lenders to make their money back on the investment. [Bloomberg]