By Stelios Orphanides
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) said that it requested from Hellenic Bank the issue of a supplementary public announcement to that issued on Monday informing investors about the acceptance of its offer to acquire the Cyprus Cooperative Bank’s operations.
The decision was taken after the evaluation of Hellenic’s announcement, CySEC said in a statement on the website of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) on Wednesday and added that the suspension of Hellenic Bank shares, as well as those of its third largest shareholder Demetra Investments Plc Ltd and also the latter’s largest stock owner, software developer Logicom Public Ltd, from trading will continue.
On Tuesday, Hellenic Bank said that it would acquire the Co-op’s operations for €74m in cash and that it would carry out a capital increase of €150m.
According to Hellenic, Demetra, owner of 10.1 per cent of Hellenic’s stock, had entered a subscription agreement to participate in the capital raise with up to €72.3m which could allow it to increase its stake to 20.1 per cent.
On Tuesday, Demetra said that depending on the extent to which other shareholders would participate in the capital increase, its contribution can range between €15.1m and €72.3m, which could increase its shareholding to up to 29.9 per cent, making it practically the largest shareholder in the bank.
Logicom, currently owner of 29.6 per cent of Demetra after it acquired in March a 18.5 per cent stake in it from the Co-op, said that it was ready to lend up to €20m to Demetra so that the latter could increase its stake in Hellenic Bank to 29.9 per cent.