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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-15

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] MIG, Swissport bids for OA

  • [01] MIG, Swissport bids for OA

    The Greek government on Friday said it has received two binding offers for the sale of Olympic Airways' assets, totaling 177.2 million euros.

    Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, the government's "point man" for the closely watched privatisation of the ailing national carrier, told reporters that the government's investment advisors received a binding offer from Athens-based Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for the purchase of Olympic Airlines' flight operations (valued at 45.7 million euros) and for its technical base assets (valued at 16.7 million euros), while there was another binding offer by Swissport for the purchase of OA's ground handling services (valued at 44.8 million euros).

    These two offers, combined with the purchase of Pantheon Airways' capital, a new technical base company and a new ground handling service company raise the value of the offers to 177.2 million euros, according to the government.

    The Greek state's proceeds from the sale would be raised from additional assets, such as airplanes, ground handling equipment and technical base equipment, which were separately evaluated by auditors.

    The ministry announcement said the government, after taking into account the two bids, as well as requests exclusive negotiations, positive recommendations by its investment and legal advisors and the positive recommendation by a commissioner (jointly appointed by the Greek government and the European Commission), has decided that talks, currently underway, will continue exclusively for a period of three weeks. During this period, other offers can be examined according to the process of negotiations with the two bidders.

    "The government expresses satisfaction over MIG's positive response to a public invitation by the government and Swissport's decision to raise its initial offer. The government's goal is a healthy privatisation of Olympic Airlines".

    PASOK leader

    Meanwhile, hours later, PASOK party leader George Papandreou met with Andreas Vgenopoulos, MIG's chief executive, following a request by the latter to brief Papandreou over MIG's offer to purchase Olympic.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Vgenopoulos said the meeting "went well, as Mr. Papandreou presented PASOK's programme for Olympic Airlines and other companies in the sector, envisaging a joint scheme".

    He added that "in our proposal we offer this possibility, if there is a PASOK government to transform Olympic Airlines into an enterprise based on their wishes".

    He underlined that MIG's offer aimed to solve the national carrier problems and to continue operating as part of the country's history.

    "We want new planes, good service and an Olympic Airlines that will make us all proud, and we will achieve this if the tender is complete," Vgenopoulos said.

    Commenting on the future of OA's employees, he said it was an issue and obligation of the government, adding that a new airline would create numerous job positions, including ones for new and existing employees.

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