May 30, 2014 / 3:30 PM / in 4 years

Greek renewable energy firm files for IPO, first in five years

ATHENS (Reuters) - The renewable energy business of Greece’s biggest construction company Ellaktor plans to list on the stock market in what would be the first public offering on the Athens since the debt crisis began in 2009.

“We filed to list (on the Athens bourse’s main market) about a month ago,” Theodoros Sietis, chief operating officer of the ELTEH Anemos unit told Reuters on Friday.

“Our filing is now being evaluated and we expect the bourse will allow us to list our shares, the first such listing in several years.”

A source with direct knowledge of the approval process told Reuters the filing is expected to get the go-ahead next month.

Greek stocks have been battered by the belt-tightening prescribed by Greece’s creditors, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, in exchange for about 240 billion euros in bailout aid to keep the country stay afloat.

But with the country expected to emerge from a six-year recession this year, and its successful return to bond markets in April - the first time in four years - market sentiment is improving.

Investors have contributed some 9.5 billion euros to Greek banks’ equity and debt sales in 2014 so far - according to Reuters calculations.

In addition an IPO by Anemos would likely attract positive attention since the government introduced a law in April cutting the price that energy producers will receive from the national market operator - which conversely means they will be paid on time for the energy they produce, recovering arrears and enabling them to invest and grow further.

Renewable energy is one of few industries in Greece that has continued to expand even throughout the recession, thanks to generous state subsidies.

Anemos, a mid-sized renewable energy producer, operates 12 wind parks, a solar plant and a hydroelectric plant in Greece, with 170 megawatts in total installed capacity.

Sietis said the IPO would help the firm build new facilities with about 100 megawatts of capacity but declined to say how much Anemos plans to raise from the offering. Greece, like other EU countries, has to increase electricity output produced from renewable energy sources.

The Athens bourse’s main index has gained more than 100 percent since June 2012 but is still about 58 percent off its October 2009 high of 2,894 points.

The last time a Greek firm went public on the Athens stock exchange was July 2009, when MIG Real Estate raised 10 million euros.

Additional reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Sophie Walker

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