Update: OPAP Sale Down to One Bidder


The last one standing in the race for the sale of a 33 percent shareholding in the Hellenic Football Prognostics Organisation S.A. (OPAP) is Emma Delta, a fund advised by Emma Delta Management Ltd which is beneficially owned by Czech investor Jiri Smejc (66,7 percent) and Greek shipping tycoon George Melisanidis (33,3 percent).

Its last competitor, the U.S. fund Third Point, has reportedly been disqualified because it insisted on a right to re-sell its shares to other investors at any point in the future, it was reported in the media that quoted an unidentified official close to the sale.

It has also been reported that Emma Delta has offered Euro 622 million for the stake in OPAP, which is somewhere in between the National Bank and Deutsche Bank advisors' estimate of the stake's worth of Euro 610 million and an independent advisor's of Euro 650 million.

Further proceedings of the sale will be discussed by the board of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, the privatization agency facilitating the sale, but it appears that it is now asking Emma Delta to reconsider and up its offer until Thursday, probably to reach the higher estimate of Euro 650 million.

Emma Delta probably won't like this request, but it may still have room to increase its current offer, which represents a discount of 16 percent based on OPAP's closing share price of 7.08 euro on Monday.

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