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Lampsa, Athineon mull merger

The Greek firms Lampsa and Athineon, which operate two of Athens` best-known hotels…

The Greek firms Lampsa and Athineon, which operate two of Athens` best-known hotels -the stately Grande Bretagne<.> and the Athenaeum Intercontinental<.> respectively- appear to be close to agreeing on a merger.

This move is considered likely following a decision announced by Lampsa at a recent general meeting that subsidiary companies of the Ioannou & Paraskevaidis group will purchase shares in the firm.

Among their immediate priorities is the completion of plans for extensive renovations of the Grande Bretagne as well as the establishment of a new chain of luxury hotels that will include the Intercontinental and other units belonging to Lampsa.

In order for negotiations to continue, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Arthur Andersen have been appointed to determine the share-for-share ratio. The firms must also secure the necessary permits and approvals from the Free Trade Commission, the development ministry, the Capital Market Commission and the Athens stock exchange.

The Intercontinental is expected to have completed its refurbishment by 2002. Meanwhile, Athineon is planning the transformation of the former Allatini mills in Thessaloniki into a hotel which will join the luxury hotel chain. The company intends to begin works next year and complete them by 2003.

Athineon recorded 9.764 billion drachmas in turnover last year while its pre-tax profits totalled 2.455 billion drachmas.

Lampsa registered 5.327 billion drachmas in turnover for 1999 and its pre-tax profits were 620 million drachmas.

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