Greece offers sole bidder Emma Delta to increase bid for football bet firm OPAP

greece’s privatisation agency HRADF has invited Greek-Czech investment fund Emma Delta to increase its bid for a controlling interest in gambling specialist Hellenic Football Prognostics Organisation SA (OPAP), the body said in a statement.

Reuters reported earlier, quoting unnamed officials in the know of the process, that Emma Delta, which remained sole bidder after rival Third Point LLC was disqualified on Monday, was asked to sweeten its offer of EUR622m (USD811.1m) for the 33% OPAP stake plus management rights on sale to some EUR650m by Thursday morning.

National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) and Deutsche Bank AG (ETR:DBK), which are advising Greece on the deal, have valued the interest, plus management rights, at EUR610m, while the valuation of an independent advisor is a minimum EUR650m, one official told the agency, adding a sale below EUR650m would not happen.

Another official told Reuters that HRADF was seeking a bid of over EUR650m from Emma Delta, which is controlled by Greek shipowner George Melisanidis and Czech investor Jiri Smecj.

Greek entrepreneur Dimitris Copelouzos’ Helvason is also participating in the joint bid.

Third Point was disqualified from the tender, which Greece launched in September, as it wanted to be entitled to resell shares at any time, one of the insiders told the news agency.