By Christmas, Lamda expects to finish up 650 mln euro rights issue

Lamda expects to finish up 650 mln euro rights issue by Christmas

Lamda Development, the company building Greece's eight billion euro Hellinikon complex, expects to complete a 650 million euro rights issue before Christmas as part of plans to raise funds for the project.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the company's extraordinary shareholders assembly, chief executive Odysseas Athanasiou said the rights issue will be completed next month on the condition that it is approved in time by the relevant authorities. In regards to how he sees investor appetite for the new shares, Athanasiou described it as being "very good".

The subscription price has been set at 6.70 euros per share. On Friday, Lamda's shares closed at 7.73 euros on the Athens stock exchange.

In addition to the rights issue, Lamda plans to finance the project, one of Europe's biggest urban developments, through an 850 million euro bond that will be covered by Eurobank and Piraeus Bank.

Hellinikon is one of the biggest investments to take place in the country in decades and is seen as being a game-changer for the Greek economy. On a beachside site stretching over 6.2 million square meters in southeast Athens, the project is estimated to add 2.4 percent to Greece's economy and 75,000 jobs during its maturity.

The project, to be built at the former Athens international airport, has repeatedly suffered delays but Greece's change of government in July provided fresh momentum to the project that Lamda signed up for in 2014.

However, a new batch of legal challenges on Hellinikon has been submitted recently by archaeologists to the Council of State, the country's highest administrative court. There have also been appeals to the tender procedure awarding the casino on the site, threatening further delays.

Athanasiou said that legal challenges are part of the whole process and that the company is getting ready to start construction work in the first quarter of 2020.


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