ATHENS Jan 31 Greece's privatisation agency on Thursday picked U.S. private equity fund NCH Capital to develop land on the island of Corfu for tourism, in a 23 million euro deal that is part of the government's asset sales agenda to pay down public debt.
State asset sales and concessions are a key part of Greece's efforts to pull back from the brink of bankruptcy. Athens has raised about 2 billion euros ($2.71 billion) since 2010 and is targeting proceeds of about 11 billion by the end of 2016.
"It is the first direct foreign investment in public land in the last 15 years," the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund said in a statement.
Under the deal, New York-based NCH Capital will buy all of the shares in a special purpose vehicle where the government will transfer rights to 490,000 square metres of land in Kassiopi on the western Greek island for 99 years.
NCH Capital, with about 3.5 billion euros in assets under management, will spend 75 million euros on mild tourism development on 36,000 square metres, creating hundreds of jobs, the agency said. ($1 = 0.7367 euros) (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Ron Askew)