ECONOMY

Generous premium in Proton sale

Piraeus Bank has sold its 31 percent stake in smaller peer Proton to entrepreneur Lavrentis Lavrentiadis for 70.6 million euros, in a deal valuing Proton well above its current market price. Piraeus Bank, the country’s fourth largest lender, said in a bourse filing it sold 19.6 million shares in Proton at a price of 3.6 euros each, 83 percent higher than yesterday’s closing price on the Athens bourse. Shares in Proton ended at 1.96 euros yesterday, up 8.29 percent, versus a 0.07 percent dip on the broader market. News of the sale was made public after the close of trade in Athens. Piraeus Bank had acquired its stake in Proton in November 2008, in a share swap deal worth 25 million euros. Its shares fell 1.36 percent to 8 euros, pushing the bank’s market capitalization to almost 2.7 billion euros. Lavrentiadis also owns a stake in foodstuffs and veterinary products maker Alapis and has several media holdings.