Friday, December 8, 2023

Ellactor: Holterman in Athens, capital return “on the table”.

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The arrival of Dutch major shareholder Henry Holterman in Greece has triggered the scenarios for a generous return of capital, while the announcement of the 9-month results is expected in the coming days.

Since the end of October to date, Ellaktor’s shares have gained 19.5%, although they are 18% below their 12-month high. The awakening of the stock is attributed to the completion of the sale of AKTOR to Intrakat and expectations of a generous return of capital to shareholders.

The group’s CEO Efthimios Bouloutas has foreshadowed such an initiative when at the analysts’ briefing on the occasion of the first half results he had stated:  “We are now in a position to start making cash distributions to shareholders. We have not yet reached our proposal. We will provide more information in our next conference call with analysts at the end of the year.”

The arrival of Dutch major shareholder Henry Holterman in Greece has sparked these scenarios and the announcement of the 9-month results is expected in the coming days, when, barring the unlikely event, the announcements will be made. 

Ellaktor has completed the financial and operational restructuring, as well as reversing the negative trend of the previous years and is now focused on profitable growth of the ongoing operations in the concessions with AKTOR Concessions, waste management through Elector and real estate development through Reds. It also retains a 25% stake in Anemos with the remaining 75% owned by Motor Oil.

It is recalled that in the first half of 2023, the group’s revenue from continuing operations stood at €186 million (at the same level as last year), EBITDA amounted to €94 million (+29%) and net profit reached €32 million from a marginal loss of €0.3 million in the first half of last year.

In the first half net liquidity at group level (excluding Morae) was EUR 180 million which has been boosted by the EUR 90 million from the sale of AKTOR (the price was EUR 110 million but an advance of EUR 20 million had been paid), EUR 90 million from the sale of Smart Park and will be further boosted by EUR 114 million over the next two years by the gradual repayment of the liabilities of the construction company AKTOR to the group. Currently, the capitalisation of the Hellaktor group amounts to EUR 770 million and its cash and cash equivalents to EUR 570 million.

Recently, Ellactor denied that there are any thoughts of selling AKTOR Concessions, claiming that AKTOR Concessions is Hellactor’s largest subsidiary with estimated total cash flows, in excess of EUR 1 billion, from the existing Concessions during their contractual term.

In particular, AKTOR Concessions has a majority stake in the Attiki Odos (65.8%) and Morea (71.7%) motorways, but also significant stakes (17-23%) in the Olympia Odos and Aegean Motorway motorways, as well as in the Rio – Antirrio Bridge. It has also signed a Concession Agreement for the right to use, operate, manage and exploit the Alimos Marina, the largest marina in the Balkans.

The next gamble for Hellactor’s management is how to make up for Attiki Odos’ EBITDA profits, as the contract expires in October 2024. On an annual basis, the EBITDA attributable to the Hellactor group (which owns 65% of Attiki Odos) is estimated at EUR 120 million. 

AKTOR Concessions has been pre-selected or is in the process of competitive dialogue, autonomously or in consortium, in PPP projects with a budget of more than EUR 3.8 billion and in Concessions projects with a budget of EUR 2.5 billion.

One of the major projects that AKTOR Concessions is bidding for in a joint venture with Mytilineos is the section of the BOAK Hersonissos – Heraklion to be built by concession. 

It should be noted that Aktor Concessions will receive dividends from Attiki Odos until 2025 and with the liquidation of the company will also receive several million euros that are in the Attiki Odos treasury. It is estimated that in total the Hellaktor group’s treasury will receive more than EUR 250 million from Attiki Odos until 2026.

In an imminent return of capital the biggest winners will be Reggeborgh, which controls 45% of Hellactor’s share capital, and Motor Oil, which owns 30%.

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