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Newsletter March 2013


U.S. Firm Invests in Corfu

Investment opportunities such as the 120-acre tourism real estate project in Corfu are drawing the interest of global investors.

Greece’s Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund has completed its first deal for public land, selling the leasehold for plot of land on the island of Corfu to U.S. investment firm NCH Capital for 23 million Euro. The U.S. investment firm, known for its investments in Russia and Central Europe, won the bidding process for the right to develop more than 120 acres on the island of Corfu. The deal also included a 2.3 million Euro earn-out clause. The privatization fund said it is in the process of tendering four other projects.

"It is the first direct foreign investment in public land in the last 15 years," the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund said in a statement.

Under the deal, New York-based NCH Capital will buy all of the shares in a special purpose vehicle where the government will transfer rights to 490,000 square meters of land in Kassiopi on the western Greek island for 99 years.

NCH Capital, with about 3.5 billion Euro in assets under management, will spend 75 million Euro on mild tourism development on 36,000 square meters, creating hundreds of jobs, the agency said.

Philip Morris to Buy 50% of Greek Tobacco Production
Philip Morris International, the American tobacco conglomerate, is set to buy more than half of Greece’s tobacco production in the coming three years according to the Greek International Business Council’s announcement.

In a statement, the Council announced Philip Morris' "stamp of approval to Greece's producers as the multinational will absorb in the next three years a significant part of the production by 15,000 tobacco producers in Northern Greece."

Philip Morris International is a leading international tobacco company, with products sold in more than 180 countries.

"In 2012, we held an estimated 16.3% share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S., or 28.8% excluding the People’s Republic of China and the U.S," a statement about their company says.

The Greek International Business Council considers this as a stamp of approval on Greek agriculture.

Swedish Group Ytong-Thrakon Aquires Carmyco
Sweden’s Ytong-Thrakon Group continues to expand its activities in Greece, with the acquisition of Greece’s Carmyco, a well-established paint manufacturer.  Mr. Jon Sjoborg of Ytong-Thrakon said that despite the strong economic crisis Greece has been facing since 2009, he supports Greece with foreign capital investment.  The Group will continue its investment activity with constant attention in Greece, focusing on investments to improve production facilities and demonstrate the Group’s commitment to more environmentally friendly production processes.

Turkish Group in Marina Investment Push
Lamda Development SA (LAMDA), a Greek marina investor, and Dogus Holding AS, with interests in media, banking and energy in Turkey, set up a joint venture to invest in marina projects.

Lamda will contribute the shares it holds in Flisvos Marina Holding SA to the 50-50 venture and Dogus will participate in a share capital increase, according to Lamda. The cooperation may extend to real estate and other tourism projects, the company said.

The value of the transaction will be determined with a formula that takes into account seven times Flisvos Marina’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, minus financial debt, Lamda said.

Dogus will buy four marinas that Greece is selling to raise cash, Milliyet reported June 18, citing Group Chief Executive Husnu Akhan. Dogus applied to the Greek tourism ministry for clearance to acquire the marinas in Athens, Corfu Island, Lefkas Island and the Peloponnese for 20 million Euro.

The Greek marinas have a total capacity of 3,755 private boats, nearly 50 percent more than the company's current ability to accommodate in Turkey. The group also acquired three Croatian marinas in April of this year. “Every crisis opens up opportunities. This crisis isn't going to last forever,” Akhan said of the Greek economic crisis and European slowdown.


Made in Greece Brand Gets 20 Million-Euro Boost
Greek company Sunlight, that designs and manufacturers batteries, is proceeding with a 20 million-Euro investment in Komotini, northern Greece, where a new lead recycling unit has been established.

Sunlight’s CEO Mr. Constantinos Lafkas said that the investment proves the company’s confidence in Greece’s economic prospects.

We invest in Greece and export around the world, making “made in Greece” a brand name, he said. Through this investment, Sunlight is becoming a vertically integrated group of battery production, he added.

February 8, 2013

Prime Minister Meets Business Leaders
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with the heads of leading multinational companies operating in the local market to discuss investment, new business opportunities, and the creation of jobs.

Mr. Samaras met with the managing directors of Unilever, Pepsico, Specifar, Nestle, Bic Biolex, Lafarge, Athenian Brewery, Cosco, Vodafone, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Novartis, AB Vassilopoulos and Friesland.