Alpha Bank said to invite bids for Hilton Athens owner

Alpha Bank said to invite bids for Hilton Athens owner

Greece's Alpha Bank SA has launched a process to sell Athens-listed Ionian Hotel Enterprises, owner of the five-star Hilton Athens, a source familiar with the matter said.

Alpha Bank, which holds 97.3 percent of IHE, wants to receive expressions of interest by a deadline of March 11. Citi is advising Alpha Bank on the sale, the source said.

Alpha Bank was not immediately available for comment.

The Greek bank is aiming to further strengthen its capital base with the share sale, which is valued at about 106 million euros based on its last closing price of 8.13 euros.

Greek banks that have been recently recapitalized with the euro zone's help have agreed to divest non-core banking activities and sell their participation in overseas assets.

Citi's head of Greece and Cyprus investment banking, Theodoros Giatrakos, is leading negotiations with interested parties, which have been given the option of bidding alone or teaming up in an investment consortium.

Hilton Athens was one of the venues that hosted recent negotiations between international creditors and the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in 2015.

Located in the capital's commercial district, Hilton Athens has 506 rooms, some of which offer views of the Acropolis, and three swimming pools.

A flurry of hotel deals recently took place, with AccorHotels sealing a deal in December to buy FRHI Holdings Ltd, the owner of luxury hotels including London's Savoy and New York's Plaza, in a cash-and-share deal worth $2.9 billion.

In November Marriott International agreed to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for $12.2 billion to create the world's largest hotel chain with top brands including Sheraton, Ritz Carlton and the Autograph Collection.


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