Kostantinos Bitros H.I.G. Capital: New investments beyond Greek borders. Average return on funds at 19%
Kostantinos Bitros H.I.G. Capital: New investments beyond Greek borders. Average return on funds at 19%
  Deals  |  Investments  |  Economy  |  Greece

Kostantinos Bitros H.I.G. Capital: New investments beyond Greek borders. Average return on funds at 19%

RE+D magazine

More than €1.35 billion has been invested so far by "H.I.G. Capital Advisors LLC", in Greece while targeting €1.5 billion in the transit and tourism sectors by participating in the investment program with equity capital of more than €350 million with the average return on their funds reaching 19%.

Total turnover of the companies that have been so far acquired - in which around 4,500 employees are employed - reaches €450 million. €70 million in hotels and €350 million in logistics. The goal is to reach €600 in the next five years with the participation of hotels being clearly greater as most of them are now in the upgrading stage.

The company has plans to expand beyond Greek borders to the north through acquisitions in Serbia, Hungary and Austria with a final destination in Germany for the combined transport network, and in the wider Mediterranean area in terms of hotels.

Expanding logistics in the north

"The Logistics sector in Greece is expected to play a crucial role in the economic development of the country, which after obtaining the investment grade, will attract a significant number of private funds with a longer investment horizon," Konstantinos Bitros, Inventio's managing director said.

Konstantinos acts also as an investment manager of the American fund in Greece, presenting the activities of the H.I.G. business participation company to date and added: "There is interest in the creation of a logistics hub in the port of Alexandroupolis and for taking over the Savvidis Group stake in the Thessaloniki Port Authority (TPA) conditionally to a corresponding intention to sell, even though a special formula must be found as, according to our standards, participation in listed companies is not allowed".


Mr. Bitros mentioned that in the transit and storage industry, the landscape in Greece is fragmented - with HIG holding a share of up to 18%, - "Today the industry is made up of 1600 companies that have to proceed with a complete renewal of the obsolete fleet, within the next five years". So far, it has proceeded with 6 acquisitions - among them "Makios" in Macedonia, and Veinoglou in Athens, while the large trimodal handling center HULL in Aspropyrgos is moving forward.

This model center - with an investment cost of more than €250 million - resulted from the cancellation of loans of the Hellenic Steel Industry of ~€150 million with the rescue of the operations of the facilities in Volos that employ 600 workers. Particularly important is the role of the port of Piraeus, where the company could operate in addition to Cosco.

“With or without H.I.G, the industry has before it a bright field of glory because of the existence of Piraeus and the Asian market that feeds Europe. In addition, we are looking at the expansion of our activities and in the "last mile", Mr. Bitros continued, referring to the maintenance of the operation of the companies that HIG has in its portfolio by the old shareholders, a model that ensures the know-how and the maintenance of the existing clientele.

Regarding the challenge of the lack of labor force, he emphasized that in both sectors (logistics and hospitality), technology can make a decisive contribution.

Hotel acquisitions outside Greece in countries where the group has a presence

In the area of hospitality, Mr. Bitros mentioned that so far he has proceeded with the acquisition of nine units in Rhodes, Crete, Corfu (not including the hotels of the Kypriotis group in Kos for which a legal dispute is ongoing). The goal of the fund is to reach 6 thousand beds in Greece and 10 thousand in the Mediterranean.

amilia_mare_ALDEMAR RODOS.jpg

He added: "We invest in beach resorts, which either have capacity or can reach 200 rooms. We are looking at properties in all areas that are close to an airport. We choose as a priority ready-made buildings that are older in which you follow an extended schedule upgrade".

In the plan is the acquisition of three more hotel units, all in Crete with the value of the acquisition reaching €100 million, while another €100 million will be required for their renovation and upgrade.

In the hospitality sector, where the group has created the "Ella Resorts" platform, the inclusion of other hotels outside of Greece, where the group has a presence such as in Spain and Italy, is being considered.

Mr. Bitros has also pointed out the unfavorable economic environment and the effects that inflation will have both on the pocketbook and on the psychology of tourists, estimating that in 2024 the consequences will be seen in the engine of the Greek economy.