ECONOMY

Famous hotels to change hands in the fall

Important changes are expected in the autumn at two landmark hotels in Athens and Thessaloniki, Astir Palace and Makedonia Palace.

National Bank has initiated the tender process for the sale of the Astir luxury resort in the southern Athens suburb of Vouliagmeni and 13 Greek and foreign consortiums have expressed interest. The complex occupies an area of about 31 hectares, of which 19 belong to the Astir itself and the rest to the Greek state.

According to the sale process schedule, the suitors will submit their bids in November. Some of the consortiums considering the acquisition are reported to be holding negotiations with a view to submitting joint bids in the final stage of the process. The terms of the tender allow up to three of the initial bidders to group together and submit a joint bid.

Suitors for the long-term lease of Makedonia Palace, located on the Thessaloniki seafront, have until September 16 to submit binding bids. The hotel is owned by the Social Security Foundation (IKA-ETAM). According to the terms of the tender, the successful bidder will lease the five-star, 283-room facility for 30 years, with an option for 10 more years if the two sides agree to it at least two years before the expiry of the initial terms. The minimum monthly lease is set at 137,500 euros and bids of over and above that sum will be accepted. Additionally, IKA-ETAM will receive a variable percentage on turnover if that exceeds 7 million euros. This is set at 12 percent for turnover of up to 12 million euros, 10 percent for between 11 and 15 million and 8 percent if it exceeds 15 million euros.

The lessee will also to have to complete an investment program of at least 5 million euros to refurbish Makedonia Palace within two years of undertaking the management.