Greece receives improved bid for former Athens airport

Greece receives improved bid for former Athens airport

ATHENS - Greek authorities said Wednesday they have received an improved, 915-million-euro (S$1.6-billion) offer for the former Athens airport, one of the top assets of Greece's privatisation drive.

The offer from Greek-led consortium Lamda Development is 25 per cent higher than its initial offer, the Hellenic asset development fund said.

A decision on whether to accept the offer will be made "within the coming days," the agency said.

Hellinikon airport, built for the 2004 Athens Olympics, is considered one of the most attractive properties held by the cash-strapped eurozone nation.

It has been on sale since December 2011, and Lamda is the only remaining bidder in the process.

Situated eight kilometres (five miles) south of Athens, Hellinikon and an adjoining 337-berth marina span nearly 620 hectares (1,530 acres) and include a waterfront of about 3.5 kilometres.

The entire site is three times bigger than Monaco, and more than twice the size of Hyde Park in London.

Greece had originally pledged to raise 50 billion euros by selling or leasing state assets by 2015, a commitment made to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for bailout funds.

This was later scaled down to 19 billion, and subsequently to 9.5 billion euros by 2016.

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