National Bank of Greece seals $880 mln property deal

Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:56pm EST

* Invel Real Estate to buy 66 pct of NBG's Pangaia property unit

* Greece's NBG to get 161 mln euros in cash under 653 mln-euro deal

ATHENS Nov 25(Reuters) - National Bank of Greece, the country's largest lender, said on Monday it has agreed to sell a majority stake in its real estate arm Pangaia to private equity firm Invel Real Estate in a 653 million-euro ($882 million) deal.

The sale, which was revealed last week, is part of a restructuring by National Bank (NBG) aimed at boosting its capital base.

Greece's top four banks are being overhauled under plans agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in accordance with the terms of their bailouts and involving job cuts, branch closures and asset sales.

Under the terms of the latest deal Invel will acquire 66 percent of Pangaia, NBG said in a statement, and will pay 161 million in cash, contribute equity in the form of real estate and also take out a loan from NBG.

Several investment funds have recently bought stakes in Greek companies, betting on the country's economic recovery after six years of austerity-fuelled recession.

Pangaia's real estate portfolio includes office buildings, branches operated by NBG and other property recently acquired from the country's privatisation agency.

Pangaia will pursue a listing on the Athens stock exchange in 2015, the statement said. Greece's bank bailout fund, the HFSF which has majority ownership of NBG following its recapitalisation in the summer, has approved the sale, the bank said. ($1=0.7404 euros) (Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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