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Market Expects Major Changes in Local Ferry Ownership

Crete-based Minoan Lines appears to be in the center of a shake up in Greece’s coastal shipping sector. Last month, the activity of the Minoan shares on the Athens Stock Exchange, and subsequent press stories, has led most to believe that Attica Enterprises (Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries) is out to control Minoan.

Press reports say that Attica’s owner now holds 13.14% of Minoan shares officially, and through offshore companies another 6.5 to 7% for a total of around 20% of Minoan shares. As well, it is said that he has control over another 5% of shares held by others. At the same time, Greek shipowner Panos Laskaridis has apparently picked up the majority shares in Hellenic SeaWays.

He now controls more than 37% of the Greek coastal shipping company. Attica’s owner, Pericles Panagopoulos, has been after Minoan to sell its shares in Hellenic SeaWays, which would end Minoans control of ferry routes in the Cyclades Islands and end any competition problems with a merger of Blue Star with Minoan.

Attica also appears to be pressing Minoan to buy two of its Superfast ferries that ply the Adriatic.

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