OA loses 2 suitors, 3 left

Three of the five original groups in the running to buy ailing Olympic Airlines remain in contention, the government said yesterday. «The process to sell Olympic continues, there are three interested parties, negotiations are progressing,» Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said after an interministerial committee meeting on privatizations. He declined to identify the remaining bidders, but said that a June deadline for the conclusion to the process remained in effect. Sources told Kathimerini that the three firms were Deutsche BA, Olympic Investors and Klesch and Co, with Greece’s Aegean Airlines and Dutch Sure Estates having dropped out. The European Court of Justice ruled earlier this month that Greece must recover 194 million euros in state aid granted to Olympic, which the government pledged to do in a manner that would not jeopardise the carrier’s privatization. (AFP, Kathimerini)