Piraeus Bank said to sell stake in Athens Water to Paulson

Piraeus Bank SA (TPEIR) sold its 9.9 percent stake in Athens Water Supply & Sewage Co SA (EYDAP) to Paulson & Co SA for 86.3 million euros ($120 million), according to a Piraeus Bank official who asked not to be identified in line with policy.

Athens Water, Greece’s biggest water utility with a market value of 1 billion euros, is 61 percent state-owned, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The government said in its medium-term fiscal plan on April 30 that it will sell the company next year to help meet a 2.2 billion-euro revenue target from state asset sales in 2015.

Piraeus, the country’s second-largest bank by assets, acquired its stake in Athens Water, the second-biggest holding in the company, when it bought the viable portion of Agricultural Bank of Greece in 2012.Athens Water shares gained 4.1 percent to 9.68 euros at 3:40 p.m. local time compared with a 0.3 percent rise for the Athens Stock Exchange general benchmark index.

Paulson & Co didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call requesting comment.