New board at Greek contractor Ellaktor approved to end management row

ATHENS, July 25 (Reuters) - Shareholders in Ellaktor approved a new board on Wednesday, ending a power struggle among the main owners over management control of Greece’s biggest construction group.

The group, whose operations range from construction and motorway operation to waste management and renewables, has been making losses since 2013 as a Greek debt crisis slashed public works.

Chief Executive Leonidas Bobolas, son of a powerful media magnate, and board vice-chairman Dimitrios Koutras have been battling with the main shareholders, the brothers Anastassios and Dimitrios Kallitsantsis, over strategy in recent months.

During the row, the Kallitsantsis brothers, who hold a 28 percent stake, resigned from the board as chairman and vice-chairman and nominated a new nine-member management team to be approved by shareholders without involving Bobolas and Koutras, who also own a smaller stake in the group.

The brothers said Ellaktor’s previous management had not addressed new governance rules and failed to implement a restructuring plan to boost long-term shareholders value and end the management dispute.

An annual shareholders meeting voted by majority in favour of the board nominated by the Kallitsantsis brothers, which includes George Provopoulos, Greece’s former central banker.

“We asked our shareholders to believe in Ellaktor’s prospects again, to support our proposal for a comprehensive, realistic and concrete change in the structures, the operation and the strategy of the group,” Anastassios Kallitsantis told the meeting, adding that shareholders had shown their support.

The new management would focus on strengthening corporate governance, hiring a chief financial officer and boosting profitability of the construction division, Ellaktor said in a statement. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Edmund Blair)