The foray of Greek shipowners Dimitris Bakos and John Kaimenakis into their country’s construction business ended very profitably, even though not quite the way they initially imagined.
At the end of 2020, the two close business partners amassed about a 30% stake in Athens-listed Ellaktor, one of Greece’s biggest builders, with a hope to ultimately gain control of the company and expand it into renewable energy.
Frustrated in their attempts by a rival group of shareholders coalescing around Dutch investment fund Reggeborgh, however, Bakos and Kaimenakis announced on Friday that they sold their Ellaktor stake for a whopping €182m ($192m).
Market observers estimate that the two men have pocketed about €50m in gains from the deal.
Bakos and Kaimenakis probably found satisfaction in other ways at well.
Their rival Reggeborgh has come under investigation by Greek stock exchange authorities, which launched a probe into the circumstances under which the Dutch fund prevailed in the Ellaktor boardroom battle against the two shipowners.
Another Greek shipowning family seems to have had the last laugh in the affair. The Vardinoyiannis family, owners of tanker company Avin International, have now emerged as a powerful force in Ellaktor.
Vardinoyiannis killed two birds with one stone — first buying the Bakos-Kaimenakis stake and then gaining majority control over Ellaktor’s renewable energy assets in a joint venture it separately agreed to form with Reggeborgh.
Ellaktor, a company with a market value of €517m, had been hit hard by Greece’s debt crisis as domestic construction projects dried up and turnover collapsed.
The outfit has diversified into new lines of business since, mainly toll roads and renewable energy.