ECONOMY

Attica Bank puts off cash call vote again

Small Greek lender Attica Bank has postponed for a second time a shareholder vote on a 434 million euro (542.3 million US dollar) fundraising to plug a capital shortfall, saying it needed more time to finish talks with investors.

Last month, the 79-branch bank had put off a shareholders’ vote scheduled for Oct. 13 until Monday (Nov. 10), citing the same reason.

Shareholders agreed to reconvene on Dec. 10 to vote on a plan to reduce the number of the bank’s outstanding shares and an issue of new equity about seven times its current market capitalisation of 62 million euros.

Attica, which is 51-percent owned by the engineers’ pension fund TSMEDE, plans to raise the funds through a rights issue to existing shareholders and a private placement with strategic investors.

The bank has hired UBS, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Clayton to find strategic investors to take part in its planned recapitalisation.

The bank’s chairman has said a mix of more than six investment funds had expressed interest in the offering, without disclosing names.

Main shareholder TSMEDE has told management that it intends to take part in the cash call and exercise its rights for up to 51 percent of the planned offering, which is likely to cost about 208 million euros.

Attica has said the price of the new shares will not be lower than 0.30 euros. Its shares traded 1.7 percent lower at 0.058 euro on Monday.

[Reuters]