ATHEX down to last 3 foreign-owned firms

ATHEX down to last 3 foreign-owned firms

The Athens Stock Exchange is down to its last few foreign-owned companies, as Greek cement company Heracles, in which French industrial giant Lafarge holds a majority stake, will soon become the 15th subsidiary of a multinational firm to bid farewell to the local bourse.

That will leave just three foreign-owned companies on the ATHEX board: They are Nexans, which belongs to French group Alcatel and also appears destined for delisting, the Minoan Lines ferry company controlled by Italian group Grimaldi, and Deutsche Telekom-controlled OTE.

On Tuesday, LafargeHolcim announced the acquisition of 4.52 percent of Heracles, taking the parent company’s stake to 93.51 percent. This allows Lafarge to exercise its squeeze-out right on the rest of the shareholders and delist the stock from Athinon Avenue.

Heracles’s forthcoming exit from the Athens stock market continues a trend that started with the Greece’s entry into the eurozone in 2001, since when foreign multinational groups have been withdrawing their subsidiaries from the country. These are subsidiaries that were once Greek-owned enterprises but later attracted foreign investment capital and passed into the control of companies with global stature.

That list includes the following companies: Interamerican, Pavlidis Chocolates, Halyps Building Materials, Papastratos tobacco, Panafon telecommunications, Kotsovolos, Elais-Unilever, Rokas, Delta Ice Cream, Phoenix Metrolife Emporiki, Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos, Crown Hellas Can, Emporiki Bank and Rilken.

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