The Next Steps For Giannakopoulos Takeover

The Next Steps For Giannakopoulos Takeover

Following the well-publicised meeting between Panathinaikos BC owner (and hopeful FC owner), Dimitris Giannakopoulos and Deputy Minister of Sport, Giorgos Vassiliadis, in relation to “Athens Alive OAKA”, the next steps have been laid out in a bid to make the 1.1 billion Euro project happen.

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Patience is still required as there are many stakeholders that need to be satisfied such as AEK BC and three Government ministries, however, early reports indicate that foreign companies, the current Government and Giannakopoulos are very keen on the project.

Firstly, it requires approval from TROIKA to be exempt from the portfolio of a “superfund”. This means TROIKA must be convinced OAKA would benefit more from future private investment as opposed to today’s government funding. Following that, Giannakopoulos and his foreign allies must reach an agreement with the Government in relation to what exactly will be rented. The Government seems to want to do it in bundles, and on top of that, it must also serve AEK BC.

After that, Giannakopoulos needs to confirm the financing and actual building plans with the aforementioned foreign companies. The final step is confirmation from the Government, depending on how they exactly share the various ‘stages’.

The one certainty is this project will not be postponed if agreed upon. All parties are hoping to complete the final selection and subsequent design in 2018. Next year the focus would shift to the initial construction and second major part of the investment. In this instance, the focus would centre around the OAKA football stadium and two indoor basketball courts. The completion of public parks and entertainment venues, as well as the beginning of office construction will represent 50% of the building works.

In 2020, the aim is to complete the erection of new office premises. 2021 would signify the completion of first phase projects such as the football stadium, basketball courts, parks and other recreational areas. This would also include 85% of the office premises, and a solar/photovoltaic park and two hotels. The entire project is estimated to be finished in 2022. Following this, it will be officially unveiled to the general public through a special event. Once the project is completed, it needs to be refinanced.

Discussions appear to be in the final stages, rather than initial talks which highlights it should not drag on. The plan was delivered a few weeks ago and passed the Government’s first approval but it is yet to be given the final green light. It is clear the ball is now in the court of the Government.

by Nick Tsambouniaris
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