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Newsletter March 2013


New Legislation tabled to Boost Investment

As Greece streamlines the investment framework, new legislation supports a wide variety of new initiatives.

The Greek government tabled new investment legislation in Parliament, aimed at abolishing excessive hurdles and counter incentives for large investments, by strengthening the role of the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments and facilitating visa procedures for foreign investors purchasing real estate property in the country.

The new legislation revolves on six axes:
• To accelerate and simplify procedures for the attraction and implementation of investment plans
• To remove disincentives and provide additional incentives to attract investment in Greece
• To reinforce transparency and enhance the auditing procedures of the Investment Law
• To restore and develop the Attica coastline
• To provide liquidity, especially to SMEs
• To improve the institutional framework for the establishment and operation of seaports for air transport

Cosco Considers Acquiring Majority Stake in Greek Port
China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. (Cosco), China’s largest state-owned shipping conglomerate, is considering acquiring a 60 percent stake in Greece's largest port, in Piraeus.

The amount of the deal could reach 1 billion Euro ($1.33 billion), according to a Reuters report, which said that Cosco plans to present the investment proposal after Athens decides what procedures it will follow on the privatization of its two largest ports in Piraeus and Thessaloniki.

The company has already made a substantial investment in the Piraeus port. It spent 4.3 billion Euro on a 35-year management lease for the No 2 and No 3 piers, which it has been operating since June 2010.

Cosco also announced investment plans to improve port facilities, build a new pier and almost triple the volume of cargo the port can handle.

The company pays 100 million Euro a year to the Greek government to maintain its presence at the port.

"As global trade is increasingly relying on China's growing imports, it is very important for shipping companies such as Cosco to strengthen their global presence," said Han Yichao, an analyst with Changjiang Securities Co.

In 2011, the Piraeus port handled more than 20 million passengers and 1.7 million containers.

Paine & Partners Completes Acquisition of Majority Ownership of Eurodrip, Leading Provider of Drip Irrigation Solution
As part of the investment announced in October 2012, U.S-based Water Holdings purchased all of the shares of Eurodrip currently held by Aquanova International Holdings B.V., a company controlled by Global Capital Investors II, a private equity fund advised exclusively by Global Finance, as well as Bellaria Holding Ltd., which together represent approximately 67.5% of the Company's outstanding shares, for a price of 1.53 Euro per share. In addition, Water Holdings has also purchased all the shares of Eurodrip currently held by Jain (Europe) Limited, a subsidiary of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., for a price of 1.53 Euro per share. Water Holdings now owns approximately 74.9% of the company's outstanding shares, and a majority of the company's directors have been nominated by Water Holdings.

"We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of majority ownership in Eurodrip, a recognized leader in drip irrigation solutions that is improving agricultural productivity around the globe with its innovative, high quality products," said Mitchell Presser, a founding Partner of Paine & Partners.  "We look forward to working with CEO Mihalis Panagis and the rest of Eurodrip's experienced management team to support the company's long-term business plans and facilitate its continued growth."

Pursuant to Greek law, Water Holdings will launch a mandatory tender offer to acquire the company's remaining shares within the deadline prescribed by Greek law.

(Source: Paine & Partners, LLC)