49 pct of Mont Parnes casino goes up for sale

The government yesterday said it will offer a 49-percent stake in the Mont Parnes casino on Mt Parnitha to a strategic investor, including an option for the company to acquire an additional 2-percent share following the completion of its business plan. The consortium of Hyatt Regency, which owns a casino in Thessaloniki, and construction company Hellenic Technodomiki is bidding against the grouping of Casino Loutraki, Piraeus Bank and a number of local businessmen for a stake in the state-owned casino. The bidding price for the 49-percent share will open at 80 million euros. The two bidders will be presented details of the shareholders’ agreement, management rights and the contract next week, a joint statement from the Finance and Development ministries said. The agenda also includes the casino’s flotation on the Athens Stock Exchange. The ministries did not specify a date for the move nor the amount of shares to be offered to the public. The privatization of the marinas at Alimos, Flisvos and Zea, in the meantime, will proceed to the second stage next week, when the bidders will be briefed on the technical and financial requirements needed to support their offers. The competition is scheduled to finish by the end of April. ETA, the tourism asset management company, is advised by Fuji Bank. The ministries said other projects such as the proposed construction of a conference center at the old Hellenikon airport, the upgrading of the Afantos golf course on Rhodes island and the creation of a theme park at Anavyssos in southeastern Athens will kick off in the first half of March. Competitions related to the different ventures are scheduled to be announced then. The government is looking to the private sector to inject funds into the country’s tourism facilities, the majority of which are run down and offer substandard services, and upgrade them to international standards.

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