ECONOMY

Sale of Astir Palace proceeding

The second stage of the tender for the utilization of the Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni, southern Athens, and the peninsula it is based on started on Wednesday with National Bank and the state privatization fund (TAIPED) approving the short list of interested parties.

National, which administers the concession, issued a statement to announce the start of the second phase of the process that includes binding offers, but without publishing the names of the companies short-listed.

Sources say that among those interested are Lamda Development, Dolphin Capital Investments, Qatari Diar, Turkey’s Koc group as well as several major hotel management companies that may well cooperate with some of the main investors.

The package to be conceded includes a significant part of the peninsula known as Mikro Kavouri, three hotel units, two private beaches and a marina. National will cash in 80 percent of the price paid, with the rest going to the state. Unconfirmed reports say that a large part of the plot will be used for luxury housing development, which entails the sale of land, while the hotel installations on the peninsula will be significantly reduced.

TAIPED is also moving ahead with the utilization of 28 state-owned buildings across the country through the sale and leaseback process, aiming to collect between 200 and 250 million euros within the year.

Nine investment companies have already expressed an interest in acquiring the 28 buildings, including two US funds and a British one.

The aim is for TAIPED to sell the buildings and lease them back for the state’s use at an annual rate that will amount to 10 percent of the sale price.