ECONOMY

In Brief

CCHBC applies for listing on New York Stock Exchange Coca-Cola HBC (CCHBC), the world’s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, announced it had formally applied for a US listing via a secondary offering of up to 11,774,270 million shares, or about 5.0 percent of its share capital. CCHBC said that shareholder Socomex will sell up to 7,100,058 shares in the company. Coca-Cola 100-percent-owned subsidiary Refreshment Product Services will sell up to 4,674,212 shares. Socomex’s stake in the company after the sale will fall to 38 percent, while Coca-Cola’s stake will fall to 22 percent. Credit Suisse First Boston is lead manager and bookrunner for the offering and Alpha Finance is co-lead manager. Socomex has granted the underwriters an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 1,177,427 shares, equal to 10 percent of the shares being offered. CCHBC, with a market capitalization of about 3.4 billion euros ($3.34 billion), is one of the largest bottlers of non-alcoholic beverages in Europe and operates in 26 countries with a total population of more than 500 million. Its shares on the Athens bourse were off 3.01 percent to 14.18 euros yesterday. The company also has secondary listings on the London and Sydney exchanges. (Reuters) Starbucks opens its first Athens store Global coffee chain Starbucks Corp opened its first store in downtown Athens yesterday (at 4 Korai St), expanding into its fifth continental European market in a joint venture with Greek retailer Marinopoulos SA. «Our decision to open stores in Greece before the 2004 Olympic Games will allow us to enter the local market at a fascinating time for this historic city,» Starbucks executive Mark McKeon said. Peter Maslen, chief of Starbucks Coffee International, said the chain was opening new stores at a rate of three to five per day globally. He would not comment on the number of stores planned for Greece. Elsewhere in Europe, Starbucks has opened stores in Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in addition to having a large presence in Britain. Seattle-based Starbucks runs more than 5,700 stores in North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. Family feud The founder of discount airline easyJet, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, said yesterday a Greek court will decide on whether to hear a claim by his uncle to part of a family fortune. Michael Haji-Ioannou alleges that Stelios’s father Loucas broke a 50-year-old partnership agreement. The creator and chairman of Europe’s biggest no-frills airline told Reuters in a phone interview from London that his uncle is seeking 20 percent of his father’s net worth after the original case was rejected. «This (claim) is based on an oral agreement that was made in Saudi Arabia some 50 years ago,» Haji-Ioannou said. A court in Piraeus rejected the case in 2000 on the grounds it did not have the jurisdiction to decide on the matter. The 35-year-old, who will quit his role as chairman in November, would not say how much his uncle is seeking, but, according to reports, the amount is close to 1.2 billion euros. Stelios said that he does not expect a court decision for several months and that his lawyers have requested the case be heard in Monaco, where his father was a resident for many years. (Reuters) Giakoumakis said Greeks will be able to make international calls via an alternative carrier on a permanent basis without having to dial a four-digit code effective December 1. The preselection carrier facility will be extended to local, long-distance and fixed-to-mobile calls from February 1, 2003 onward. Number portability, whereby users get to keep the same telephone number regardless of which operator they sign up with, will be available for fixed telephony on January 1, 2003 and for mobile telephony on July 1, 2003. Subscribers, however, will need to pay a one-off charge, estimated at below 30 euros, to the carrier for the privilege.