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Newsletter November 2014


Blackstone Stake in Lamda

Blackstone Private Equity Group Acquired a 10 Percent Stake in Greek Real Estate Developer Lamda

In July 2014, seven investment funds managed by Blackstone/GSO Capital Partners LP acquired 4,441,235 common registered voting shares issued by Lamda Development SA, corresponding to 10% of the voting share capital of the company, for 20.2 million Euro (4.55 Euro per share), and 4,441,235 respectively emptive rights in capital increase for an additional 1.3 million Euro (0,30 Euro per option) held by Consolidated Lamda Holdings SA. 10% of the voting rights give Blackstone the right to directly appoint a member to the management board of the company. It also means that their consent as shareholders is required for certain decisions related to a significant change in the company's business or delisting of its shares from the regulated market, while it also ensures them the usual anti-dilution rights.

Odysseas Athanasiou, Lamda Development Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are very pleased with the strategic participation of Blackstone/GSO, one of the leading investment companies in the world, in the share capital of our company. This collaboration further expands the international character of our shareholder base and opens new perspectives in the field of real estate. Moreover, it is a further indication of the confidence of international capital in the development of the Greek economy." Doug Ostrover, founding member and partner of GSO, said: "We believe that the Greek economy has embarked on a path of recovery and Lamda Development is ideally positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the property development sector in Greece. We are very excited to partner with the leading real estate and commercial center developer in Greece. We see this investment as a first step to further collaborations with both the company and the Latsis Group."

Financial Account Balance
936 million Euro in Direct Investment in Greece in the First Half of 2014

In June 2014 direct investments in Greece by non-residents (net inflow) increased by 55 million Euro. The largest transaction (85.3 million Euro) was due to the sale of Eurobank Properties shares to the foreign investment firm Wellington (USA). Direct investment by residents abroad (net outflow) also increased by 40 million Euro without significant transactions.
Altogether, during the first half of 2014 direct investment in Greece by non-residents amounted to 936 million Euro, while residents' direct investment abroad recorded a net outflow worth 299 million Euro.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company Signs Agreement with GEK TERNA
In an agreement signed on May 6, 2014, in Athens, the United Arab Emirates energy company TAQA and Greece’s GEK TERNA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). According to the MoU the two companies will partner in the Renewable Energy Sources sector in Greece and abroad; this agreement also paves the way for an investment by TAQA in the Greek company.

With operations in 11 countries across four continents, TAQA is quickly emerging as a global leader in the energy sector, and this deal marks the first move by the Emirati company in Greece.

GEK TERNA and TAQA participated in joint meetings, organised and hosted by Enterprise Greece (then Invest in Greece) in October 2013. Over the last six months, the two companies have met repeatedly, with the support of the organisation.
UAE – Greece: A Strategic Partnership       
The UAE and Greece are two countries with economic and development interests that align in more ways that one, evident by the constantly increasing commercial and investment activity by Emirati companies in Greece in the last two years. Since September 2012 in particular, Enterprise Greece (then Invest in Greece) has recognised the opportunities for strategic partnerships with companies from the UAE, and has placed the country at the top of its priorities.

Enterprise Greece has organised a series of business missions, with the support of its CEO, Mr. Stephanos Issaias, and headed by the Vice Minister for Development and Competitiveness, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, and has hosted multiple delegations from the UAE to Greece. Mr. Issaias said, “These systematic efforts to reach out to investors, and to facilitate meetings with Greek companies, have proven very successful and we are seeing the involvement of UAE companies in Greece.” Al Maabar also further formalised their participation in Lamda Development’s project in Hellinikon, with the signing of an MoU, on 6 May, 2014. “These announcements by TAQA and Al Maabar reaffirm our belief that the UAE and Greece are forging a long-term strategic partnership. At Enterprise Greece, we will continue to facilitate further collaboration between the two countries,” said Mr. Issaias.

More discussions are underway between a range of companies, especially in agriculture and tourism, and new investments are expected to be announced soon.