Monday, January 30, 2012

Greek asset sales behind target

Financial Times
January 30, 2012

Greece will struggle to meet its target for assets sales even by the already delayed deadline of 2017, the country’s privatisation adviser has said, highlighting the country’s struggle to return to solvency amid a wilting domestic and European economy.

As part of its first bail-out package, Greece promised to sell €50bn of real estate and other assets by 2015, subsequently renegotiated to 2017.

Even that deadline now looks “difficult”, according to Max Ziff, head of sovereign advisory at Houlihan Lokey, the restructuring-focused bank that is advising the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund.

“Around half of the assets are real estate, and you cannot just dump that on the market without destroying value,” Mr Ziff told the Financial Times.

Several large private equity funds have visited Athens to examine the assets on offer. Three funds have already swooped to pick up Wind Hellas, the telecoms company, from creditors, but the only significant disposal by HRADF has been the sale of a 10 per cent stake in Hellenic Telecom to Deutsche Telekom for €390m. Overall, only €1.5bn was raised last year.


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