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Politics

Calamos Group Takeover of Greek Insurer Still Lagging

February 5, 2018

ATHENS – The takeover of Greece’s Ethniki Insurance, the country’s largest, by a group led by Greek-American billionaire investor John Calamos missed a Jan. 31 deadline to submit a list of stakeholders to the Bank of Greece and now reportedly wants to bring in a British fund.

The Calamos-Exin group won a bid more than seven months ago but still hasn’t finished naming who will be involved to finance the deal, according to Kathimerini. The British fund manages one billion euros ($1.25 billion) and reportedly wants to put 300 million euros ($373.35 million) as a partner.

Exin claims it has tabled a full set of documents with the additional data it was asked for and that the deadline for the process is March 31, not Jan. 31, the paper said, adding that it was told by unnamed sources all the information isn’t available and that an Exin email last week didn’t list the bank’smonitoring department of private insurance companies as a formal recipient.

The same sources further confirmed that Exin has never submitted an integrated proposal presenting its stakeholder lineup but didn’t indicate whether the deal was in any danger of collapsing.

Exin-Calamos came out as the winning bidder last year for Ethniki, reportedly offering between 700-750 million euros ($787.25-$843.49 million) for a 75 percent stake in the insurance arm, the country’s biggest insurer with an 18 percent market share.

Calamos is a billionaire owner of his own asset management company whose CEO is fellow Greek-American John Koudounis.

Earlier, it was reported that the group wanted to bring in American investment mammoths Pimco and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway,  one of the world’s richest man and a long-time financial sage, but could not confirm it and other reports denied Pimco’s interest.

Sources told the paper new funding vehicle may also include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, though EBRD sources declined to comment.

Exin has not revealed the amount of capital the new funding contributors will bring in, but Kathimerini said the upcoming changes will also alter the holdings of Koudounis and  Calamos who could find their roles reduced although it wasn’t clear.

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