November 2, 2017

The fight for the ownership of Hellenic Seaways (HSW) is over. Attica Holdings and Grimaldi Group have reached an agreement on October 26, where HSW will be almost fully owned by Attica

  • Minoan Lines, a Grimaldi Group company, will transfer all its HSW shares (48.53%) to Attica Holdings, for €78.5 million. The latter already became the majority shareholder in August when acquiring 50.3% of the share capital from Piraeus Bank.
  • Attica Ferries Maritime Company will sell ro-pax SUPERFAST XII to a company within the Grimaldi Group. Price tag: €74,5 million. The SUPERFAST XII is currently operating on the long route Piraeus – Patmos – Leros – Kalymnos – Kos – Rhodes & Syros – Katapola, for the Blue Star Ferries brand.
  • Fast (car) ferry HIGHSPEED 7 will change hands from Hellenic Seaways to Minoan Lines for €25 million. HIGHSPEED 7 operates from Heraklion to Santorini
  • The completion of the deal will need to be approved by the Greek competition authority.

This deal is the most logic solution for the control over HSW, where two competitors basically both owned half of the company, with Attica at a small advantage. There was only one way: either Grimaldi, or Attica had to become the sole owner.

Now that Attica fully controls HSW, it will certainly create a high degree of rationalization on the Greek domestic routes. Attica/HSW will have the Aegean, and Grimaldi Group will –via Minoan Lines– have the Crete routes to Piraeus and Santorini / Cyclades. Grimaldi gets money to invest, and gets two modern ships.

Attica/HSW will now be able to reshuffle ships and routes for a better utilization. This economy of scale will be something attractive for investors. The domestic horizon will change, for sure.
It is noteworthy to remember that Attica also has a cooperation with ANEK Lines, on Crete (Heraklion and Chania, the headquarters of ANEK) and in the Adriatic. Could this cooperation develop further? Time will tell.

Part of the deal is the sale of the SUPERFAST XII to a company within the Grimaldi Group. This ro-pax was built in 2002 bij Flender Werft, Lübeck.

Photos © Mike Louagie