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Orco Jumps as CEO Fights Vitek Over Control: Prague Mover

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Orco Property Group SA rose as Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois Ott bought shares in the central European property developer, prompting speculation that he’s fighting billionaire Radovan Vitek for control.

The stock climbed 3.9 percent to 67.80 koruna by 10:39 a.m. in Prague, making it the best performer today in the PX index. In Paris, its home market, Orco added 2.3 percent to 2.64 euros.

Orco has gained 76 percent in the past three months after a bond-for-equity swap cut indebtedness and sent the stock price to a record low on Sept. 12, attracting new investors. Vitek, owner of Czech Property Investments AS, who bought a 30 percent stake, has proposed to become board member and cut the company’s share capital by 51 percent without cancellation of shares at a Feb. 4 shareholder meeting. Ott bought 8.4 percent last week, raising his stake to 8.9 percent, Orco said yesterday.

“We see CEO Ott’s increased stake as part of a fight for control over Orco,” analyst Josef Novotny at Erste Group Bank AG’s Prague-based unit wrote in a report to clients today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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