Marfin seeks €5bn in fresh capital

In defiance of market conditions, the listed Greek investment firm is proposing to raise a €5bn war chest from investors to capitalise on the ‘consolidation round’ in Greek banks following current market volatility.

Athens-listed Marfin Investment Group is to seek €5 billion ($7 billion) in new capital via a private placement.

MIG, which in June last year shot to prominence by raising the world’s largest listed fund at €5.2 billion, is looking repeat the process in order to “take full advantage of the emerging investment opportunities in Greece and South East Europe, with particular focus on the banking sector”, the firm said in a statement.

Andreas
Vgenopoulos

Andreas Vgenopoulos, executive vice chairman of MIG told a press conference this afternoon that over the next few weeks “market visibility would be restored” allowing the fund to take advantage of discrepancies between the market valuation of Greek banks and their real value.

“We are not expecting to see any distressed sales,” said Vgenopoulos, adding that the Greek banking system was not exposed to the toxic assets troubling institutions elsewhere in the world.

The firm has already deployed 80 percent of the funds it raised last summer, investing across a number of sectors, including IT, healthcare, shipping, finance and FMCG.

We are not expecting to see any distressed sales 

Andreas Vgenopoulos

MIG is hoping to issue 834 million shares at €6 each, which at the time of the firm’s announced represented a premium of €1 over the share price.

The firm already has €1.3 billion in excess liquidity but is seeking to scale up its investment ability to “focus on the financial sector in Greece and the wider SEE region whereby in the consolidation round which will follow [the current market volatility] we can act as the partner of choice for counterparties in friendly transactions,” said Vgenopoulos in a statement.

“MIG is perfectly capable of doing what would seem in most markets would seem impossible. It did exactly that last year,” one analyst told PEO.

The proposed share capital increase is due to be decided at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 27 October.