The speedy withdrawl of Reggeborgh Invest from Gek Terna's share capital, with large gains of course, justifies those who predicted that the Dutch would find themselves faced by competition authorities.
At the same time, it doesn’t look like expectations among some of merger activity among the top players in Greece will eventuate, like that seen in the rest of Europe. There has been a new wave of mergers in many markets, most recently in Italy, where the former Salini Impregilo has absorbed a number of companies under the new WeBuild brand.
"But will Reggeborgh try to strengthen Ellaktor through mergers, which will soon be its only investment in the Greek construction market?", executives ask themselves who monitor movements of the Dutch group. Those favouring this scenario have their eye on the president of Intrakat, Dimitris Koutras, who has not hidden his interest in Aktor. He even wrote an article recently about the negative course of Aktor, Ellaktor's construction arm.
There have also been rumors about discussions between Ellaktor and Intrakat so that the latter would take over Aktor's contracts in Romania. The rumors were not confirmed, but market watchers say that Koutras will move closer to the Dutch after their departure from Gek Terna. Of course, he maintains excellent relations with the latter.
The question is what will Reggeborgh do at Ellaktor. Will it try to improve its operations or will the Dutch withdraw in a bid to avoid getting involved in a long-term dispute with major shareholders, shipowners Giannis Kaimenakis and Dimitris Bakou? Maybe Reggeborgh will book some gains and leave the company to Leonidas Bombolas and other executives who were expelled in 2018 when the Kallitsantsis brothers prevailed against the administration? And what stance will the two shipowners and largest shareholders of Ellaktor take, who are already calling for a change of board of directors and management control? Are they indeed autonomous, as they claim to be, or are they cooperating with Anastasios Kallitsantsis, the former CEO and major shareholder, who now sees Bombolas coming to the group's boards?
The departure of the Dutch from Gek Terna definitely benefits the administration of the latter. At the same time, however, it is unclear what the Dutch aspire from the Greek construction market and Ellaktor. From yesterday we learnt that they are no longer that strategically placed in the country’s construction market. How do they see Ellaktor investment-wise, as they saw Gek Terna from which they withdraw with gains of close to 150 million euros?
People associated with the Dutch claim that the management of Reggeborgh believes in the future of Ellaktor and considers that the group has significant value. However, at the moment a conflict among shareholders is brewing with an unknown outcome. Unless, of course, a miracle occurs bringing the Dutch group and the two shipowners out of this impasse.