Published March 08, 2013
Private equity investments in Greece before its 2009 debt crisis have for the most part led to losses as a result of excessive leverage and over-optimistic growth projections.
The following are some of the country's major private equity deals:
- Greece's first major leveraged-buyout, the 1.6 billion euro ($2.1 billion) takeover of the country's third-largest mobile phone operator Tim Hellas in 2005 by Apax Partners LLP and TPG Capital LP, brought the two private equity firms more than four times their investors' money when they sold it in 2007 to Egyptian entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris for 3.4 billion euros.
Tim, subsequently renamed Wind Hellas, went into administration in 2009, unable to service its debt.
- BC Partners Ltd bought Hyatt Regency Hotels and Tourism for 984 million euros in 2006 but lost control of it in 2011 as its lenders took over the casino operator in a debt restructuring.
- Rhone Capital LLC bought Infote, owner of the Greek yellow pages, together with a minority partner for 300 million euros in 2007 but is also currently engaged in talks with its lenders about a possible financial restructuring.
- Carlyle Group LP took over chemical distribution company Neochimiki for 749 million euros in 2008 only to sell it back in 2010 at a steep discount to its original owner Lavrentis Lavrentiadis.
- Greece's Marfin Investment Group Holdings SA
It does not have the typical private equity structure but has been listed on the Athens stock exchange as an investment holding company since 2007 and now trades at a steep discount to its net asset value -- 75 to 80 percent depending on the day. It has a market value of about 300 million euros, a fraction of the 5.2 billion euros it raised from investors in 2007 for deals in the region. It has only given back about 1 billion euros to its investors since 2007.
- Greek private equity firm Global Finance, which has raised over 850 million euros from investors since its inception in 1991, has said it remains to be seen whether its last two buyout funds will deliver positive returns.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in Athens. Editing by Jane Merriman)