ECONOMY

Construction group Hellenic Technodomiki’s hostile Rokas takeover bid shows which way the wind is blowing

The hostile takeover bid on Friday for metal products and energy firm Rokas by Greece’s biggest construction group, Hellenic Technodomiki – Aktor, can be taken as a sure sign of the latter’s business orientation after the Olympic Games. Having attained dominance of the public projects sector in recent years, the group now has ample liquidity to face the decline in construction activity after the Games. Its plan is following in the footsteps of its big European peers, which are diversifying to other sectors such as energy and real estate management in order to secure long-term sources of income and enhance profitability. Rokas’s management and employees rejected the takeover bid. Its president and managing director, Christos and Giorgios Rokas respectively, said in a statement Monday that they control about 41 percent of equity and «have absolutely no intention of selling the shares to the bidding company.» «Our immediate goal is to increase the percentage of our shareholding to more than 51 percent,» they said in a statement. They added: «We consider the price offered for each share ridiculous, both in relation to the internal value of the share and the company’s real value… We are confident that our shareholders will not be enticed by such offers.» Separately, Rokas employees said they supported their management and its efforts for the company’s further growth. Rokas’s strong presence in the wind energy sector is indicative of Hellenic Technodomiki’s outlook. Rokas controls about 45 percent of the Greek wind energy power market, with 12 wind parks totaling a capacity of 150 megawatts. The construction group operates only two wind parks, with more in the pipeline. About 50 percent of Rokas’s annual revenues come from wind energy production. The price of 5.30 euros offered by Hellenic Technodomiki Energy for 51 percent of Rokas common shares included a 3.92 percent premium on the closing price on Friday. This percentage represented 43.21 percent of the total number of shares. Rokas has a total market capitalization of 138 million euros. Hellenic Technodomiki said it had agreed with four shareholders of Rokas who control about 18 percent of equity, including two members of the extended Rokas family and Giorgios Spyrou, who resigned as vice president of the company on June 23. Rokas constructed Greece’s first private wind park, with a capacity of 10.2 megawatts, in Siteia, Crete, in 1998. It was actually the country’s first private power production facility. The other 11 wind parks it operates today are located in other parts of Crete, Thrace and on the islands of Evia, Kos and Leros. Its investment program for 2004-08 envisages the addition of about 230 megawatts in capacity, of which 190 megawatts is expected to come on stream within 2004.