ATHENS, June 15 (Reuters) - Greece’s Lamda Development said it has bought out HSBC Property Investments’ stake in the country’s biggest shopping centre and plans to list its shopping mall business on the Athens stock exchange.
Greece’s largest listed property developer said its decision to buy HSBC Property’s 50 percent stake in the Mall Athens for 200 million euros ($223 mln), and take full ownership, reflected its optimism about Greece’s economic outlook.
Its CEO Odisseas Athanassiou separately told the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Thursday that the developer would transfer the mall and two other Greek shopping centres to its Lamda Malls subsidiary and then list the unit, but did not give a timeframe.
Lamda Malls is 32 percent owned by Varde Partners, which bought its stake in April.
“The 100 percent acquisition of the Mall Athens, one of the biggest investments in our country ... reflects our (confidence) in the long-term prospects of the Greek economy,” he said in a separate statement.
More than 11 million people visit the Athens mall every year, which employs about 2,500 workers. The mall is valued at 381 million euros, Lamda said.
Lamda is also leading a consortium of foreign investors which signed a deal in 2014 to turn Athens’ former airport complex, a now sprawling wasteland, into one of Europe’s biggest seaside resorts.
On Thursday Lamda submitted the 7.9 billion euro development plan to Greek authorities for approval, a process expected to take at least nine months, Athanasiou told shareholders. ($1 = 0.8969 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Susan Fenton)