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Five Bids for Olympic

The government has received five bids in an international sale tender for a majority stake in national carrier Olympic Airlines, according to a government announcement last month. The binding offers accompanied by letters of guarantee were from all groups that expressed interest in the first phase: Aegean Airlines of Greece; Olympic Investors (Greek-American); Sure Estates (the Netherlands); Intra (owner of Deutsche British Airways); and Klesch (UK).

The government’s consultant in the sale, London-based Lazard, a global investment bank, will study the bids. Negotiations will then begin, government said: “There is time pressure, and pressure from the European Union.” According to press reports, the process will be difficult due to financial constrictions and EU constraints.

Meanwhile, in a press release, management of Aegean Airlines said that due to chronic problems in the state-owned Olympic, major legal and operation-al difficulties were involved in the privatization attempt.

As a result, if acquisition negotiations were to begin, agreement could only be reached if a viable solution was found to provide quality services at competitive retail prices, the release said.

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