According to Bloomberg “investment company Thrivest Holdings Ltd. Is planning to create Greece’s largest nonsystemic lender, filling a gap in the country’s banking market that’s shut many companies off from financing.”
Paul Tugwell and Sotiris Nikas note in their article that, “Thrivest has agreed to participate in Attica Bank SA’s upcoming capital increase, which will lead to a merger with Pancreta Bank SA, Alexandros Exarchou, one of the investment firm’s founders, said in an interview.”
He notes that will lead to “the creation of Greece’s fifth banking pillar” to complement the country’s four largest banks, adding that, “the benefit of having a fairly big non-systemic bank without systemic restrictions is that we’ll be able to facilitate what is currently lacking in the Greek market – banking facilities for small and medium enterprises.”
Exarchou, who is 56 years-old “is one of Thrivest’s three owners, and he’s also chief executive officer of Greek construction group Intrakat.” Exarchou told Bloomberg that the Bank of Greece, the European Investment Fund and European regulators are pleased with the plans.
Exarchou explained that, “while smaller companies are the core of the Greek economy, they currently find it very difficult to secure financing from the country’s principal banks.”
Bloomberg reports that “Exarchou founded Thrivest along with Dubai-based Greek shipowners Dimitris Bakos and Ioannis Kaimenakis. They have set up vehicles to invest in sectors of the Greek economy including banking and renewable energy. In 2022, the three acquired the largest stake in Intrakat following a capital increase, gaining a holding of almost 32% as they targeted the company’s renewable energy portfolio.”
The three men are the biggest shareholders in Pancreta “and have said they plan to buy another 10% stake to lift their total holding in the lender to 44%. In March of last year, Pancreta agreed to buy HSBC Holdings Plc’s 15 Greek branches.
After the Attica-Pancreta merger “another capital increase will be necessary,” Exarchou said, and Bloomberg elaborates that “shareholders including Thrivest will participate equally in the second increase to create a new bank which will then be listed.”
The Bloomberg piece notes also that, “before committing to participate in the Attica capital increase, Thrivest needs current shareholders to commit to ensuring that ‘Attica’s past is over,’ with sufficient funds ‘to clean up the slate of the past and for all legacy issue to die.’”
“There may also be a need for additional funds depending on how Attica handles its so-called red-loan packages, he said,” the article concludes.
(Material from Bloomberg was used in this article)