Greek gambling monopoly OPAP, has been eyed by several foreign investors who have expressed their interest in buying a stake in the company. We have been talking about Dan Loeb’s interest in this company and in Greece as a whole. Third Point put up a bid to acquire a 33 percent stake in OPAP today, Reuters reports.
This comes after Loeb announced that Third Point would be launching a Greece focused hedge fund named Third Point Hellenic Recovery Fund. Loeb’s interest in OPAP and other Greek assets is, however, not newly realized. A 33 percent ownership in OPAP would be worth roughly $950 million according to OPAP’s current market value.
Loeb’s Hellenic Recovery Fund would only be seeded by not more than $150 million from existing assets of Third Point, so it means that Loeb has successfully found backers for this investment which is not surprising. The other party bidding for a stake in OPAP was a group of Czech and Greek businessmen.
OPAP is being privatized by Greece in an attempt to raise capital to pay off the country’s debt. As part of the 240 billion euro bailout approved by Troika Greece will have to sell some of its assets to raise money for the rescue program. OPAP’s privatisation is the first practical application to raise bailout funds. The government intends to generate 1 billion euros from OPAP’s sell off.
Existing stakeholders in OPAP are Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group, Fidelity Investments and Silchester Investments, whereas BC Partners, Playtech Ltd (LON:PTEC) and TPG Capital have expressed interest in buying a stake in the company.