ECONOMY

OPAP to launch public offer for second privatization this week

The government expects to net 600 million euros from the second part-privatization of shares of soccer pool and games-of-chance operator OPAP, for which the public subscription will take place on July 9, 10 and 11. According to the Finance Ministry, the subscription will be for 24.45 percent of OPAP’s share capital through a combined offer for private and domestic institutional investors and private placement for foreign institutionals. The OPAP shares to be offered are those already listed on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), which are held by the State Portfolio Management Company (DEKA) on behalf of the government. OPAP Chairman Costas Koskinas told a press briefing yesterday that initial responses from Greece and abroad for the privatization were especially encouraging. The share price range for the offer will be announced on Tuesday, while the book-building process will take place between Wednesday and Friday. The final price will be announced on Monday, July 14. Private investors who keep their shares for at least six months will receive a bonus of one share for every 10 bought. The government has hired Alpha Finance, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, EFG Telesis Finance and the National Bank of Greece as joint general coordinators of the combined offer. Koskinas said OPAP plans to launch a new game, Kino, in October, which is projected to generate additional revenues of between 30 and 70 million euros until the end of the year. In the first half of 2003, OPAP reported 25.6 percent growth in total turnover to 1176.3 million euros year-on-year.