Wargaming trims HB stake, Ross ups BOCY
Online gaming giant Wargaming.net, one of Hellenic Bank’s three major shareholders, has trimmed its stake in the lender from 26.2% to 24.8%, according to a stock exchange filing.
The announcement said that Wargaming sold 49,213,490 ordinary shares to an unspecified buyer, but remains the second biggest investor after New York-based fund Third Point. Local investment fund Demetra is the third largest, while the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently acquired a 5.38% stake by purchasing Hellenic’s outstanding stock for EUR 20 mln. The EBRD is already a 5% investor in Bank of Cyprus having pumped in EUR 120 mln last year.
On the other hand, BOCY’s vice chairman Wilbur Ross has bought 6,363,050 of the lender’s share via the WLR Recovery Fund V.L.P., at a cost of 16.62c a share, the bank disclosed in stock exchange filing.
The billionaire investors is probably averaging up his stake, having pumped in EUR 400 mln of his own money and that of clients last year at 24c a share, for a 19% control.
The Ross purchase will only improve the Vice Chairman’s personal stake by 0.1 percentage point, still below the 5 per cent benchmark.