Opap Shares Fall as Greece Asks for Improved Bid: Athens Mover

Opap SA fell after Greece’s state asset sales fund asked Emma Delta, the only group to submit a valid binding bid for a 33 percent stake in Greece’s biggest gambling company, to raise its offer.

Opap dropped 3.7 percent to 6.82 euros at 11:48 a.m. in Athens after falling as much as 6.1 percent in intraday trading earlier. The stock has added about 26 percent since the start of the year, giving Opap a market value of 2.17 billion euros ($2.8 billion).

Greece’s state asset sales fund asked Emma Delta to submit an improved offer for the Opap stake and decided not to unseal the second binding offer it received, from Third Point LLC, due to attached conditions, according to an e-mailed statement from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund late yesterday.

Emma Delta, comprised of Greece’s Melissanidis Group, Czech private equity group PPF Group NV and Lottomatica Group SpA, offered 622 million euros, or 5.91 euros a share, Euro2day.gr reported today, without citing anyone. That falls below the average 5.99-euro share price over the last six months, Euro2day said.

“We were expecting a better financial offer” of at least 700 million euros, excluding the 2012 dividend payment, Athens-based IBG Research analyst Dimitris Birbos wrote in a note today. The reported 622 million-euro offer, stripping out the 0.57-euro dividend payment from yesterday’s closing price, is 9 percent below Opap’s market capitalization, Birbos said.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government has pledged to speed up state asset sales, a key plank in cutting the country’s debt. Proceeds from the sale of the Opap stake as well as natural gas company Depa SA and grid operator Desfa SA will make up the bulk of 2.3 billion euros Greece needs to raise from asset sales this year, HRADF Chief Executive Officer Ioannis Emiris told Bloomberg in an interview on March 15.