Foodlink: Attica Ventures' new investment
4 February 2009
Attica Ventures (a subsidiary of Attica Bank) which manages the Zaitech Fund whose investors are Attica Bank and the New Economy Development Fund (TANEO) has made its latest investment of € 1.5 million in Foodlink S.A. in a first round of financing. Foodlink was set up 10 years ago by executives from the sector with considerable experience in logistics, and has grown at a rapid rate, achieving turnover of € 15.5 million in 2008 and EBT of around € 1.6 million.
It is the third largest company in the field of 3rd party logistics in Greece and has managed to earn a name for itself in the market thanks to its top quality services, its specialisation in specific niches (food – high-tech), its extensive distribution network, its exceptional staff and its state-of-the-art facilities. Foodlink has three large storage facilities, two in Attica (12,000 m2 in Aspropyrgos and 9,000 m2 in Magoula) and one in Thessaloniki (3,500 m2 at the Sindos Industrial Area).
The total share capital increase was € 2 million, and it is noteworthy that even company employees participated in the increase. It is also worth noting that over recent years the company has had an unwavering policy of paying out high dividends. In that spirit, in December 2008 the company paid an advanced dividend of 3% to its new shareholders (Attica Ventures and employees). Using the funds raised, the company (which has no loans) will seek to grow and develop and is also examining the possibility of acquiring similar or complementary businesses.
As Foodlink’s Managing Director, Mr. Vasilis Karakoulakis stressed, “the 3rd party logistics services market holds out significant prospects for growth in Greece due to the low level of penetration so far. At the same time there will also be significant opportunities from the market reorganisation that will take place over the next two years in Greece since we expect that the market, which is today piecemeal, will begin to consolidate. In this context, our goals are (a) to grow the company –a process which is already under way- and (b) to examine potential collaborations with other companies in the field in order to create an even larger grouping.”
2008 was a particularly important year for Attica Ventures since the company managed to list three of its investments on the Athens Exchange, made new investments and increased the capital being managed from € 10 million to € 40 million overall. It is also worth noting that the annual limit on financing per investment rose from € 1.5 million to € 2.5 million, following a proposal from the New Economy Development Fund, which was approved by the European Commission. A ministerial decision signed by the Minister of Economy & Finance is expected to be issued soon to enable this change to be officially implemented.
As Attica Ventures Managing Director, Mr. Giannis Papadopoulos, said, “Given these new circumstances, our investment horizon is expanding and 2009 will be a particularly interesting year for new investments in good businesses which under other conditions (low interest rates, high credit expansion, encouraging growth rates, etc.) would be more difficult.”
FROM THE ATTICA VENTURES PRESS OFFICE
A few words about ATTICA VENTURES: Attica Ventures S.A. was established in September 2003, and is a member of the Attica Bank Group of companies. Its corporate scope is to manage venture capital funds. Attica Bank is the first bank to participate in a venture capital fund and establish a specialised subsidiary to manage such a fund.