The Acquisition of ANEK Lines is Unlikely to Happen
The pandemic seems to affect the rescue plan for the acquisition of the ANEK LINES by the Attica Group. The consequences of the Covid-19 had an operational and financial impact on the ANEK Lines which viability is severely threatened.
The hope that the banks had a few weeks ago for the absorption of ANEK Lines by Attica Group is now disappearing. The Cretan Ferry Operator is burdened with high non-performing loans, despite capital increases through the conversion of loans into shares in recent years, which have led creditor banks to control about 40% of its share capital.
The last increase was in early February, when Piraeus Bank (24,18%), Alpha Bank, Cross Ocean (fund that purchased the claims of the National Bank) and Bank of Attica acquired 16,3% of its share capital and converted it into a bond loan of EUR 10,84 million. Even so, ANEK’s non-performing bank liabilities at the end of the first half of 2019 amounted to EUR 255 million. Fact that mostly concerns Piraeus Bank which is ANEK Line’s largest creditor.
All of ANEK’s obligations have been classified in the financial statements as short-term borrowing, which is estimated that exceeds EUR 240 million. The total liabilities reached -in the middle of 2019- EUR 353 million. The 2019 balance sheet is expected to be published in the coming days, but after the latest developments related to the pandemic, its financial position is expected to deteriorate drastically during the current fiscal year. Banks initially examined a scenario of drastic restructuring through a change of administration, but such a move, in addition to its inherent difficulties, would also worsen the company’s liquidity problems.
The next option was to increase control of the share capital, in order to lead the company to acquisition by another shipping company. The obvious choice was Attica Group, with which ANEK operates jointly on the lines of Crete and the Adriatic Sea. However, the consequences of the pandemic severely affected the ferry market and ferry companies are expected to lose sales of EUR 300 million. Fact that will definitely not allow Attica Group to inject liquidity into a acquisition of that scale.
Source: KATHIMERINI NEWSPAPER (Financial Part)