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e-Global: Attica Ventures’ first investment

11 January 2005

Procedures for the first venture capital investment by the ZAITECH FUND, managed by ATTICA VENTURES (a member of the Bank of Attica Group) in the share capital of e-Global S.A. -an ISP and IT company- were successfully completed.

E-Global, a company involved in the Internet Life and Community Stations sector, has already developed a particularly successful network of 14 stores in Thessaloniki (6 company-owned and 8 franchises) and in March the first company-owned store in Athens opened for business. It is worth noting that this network was developed with zero company borrowing.

As Company Chairman, Mr. Giorgos Katostaris, pointed out, e-Global’s objective is to develop and expand its successful model in Athens by initially opening 5 new company-owned stores (the first having already opened for business in the Dafni area). The aim is for the company to acquire a total network of 30 company-owned and franchise stores over the next two years.

For his part, Attica Ventures' CEO, Mr. Giannis Papadopoulos stressed that, “...our investment in e-Global has created 70 new jobs, and marks the start of our objective of making investments which bolster robust, entrepreneurially innovative SMEs with development prospects. Our aim is for the Internet Life and Community Stations market in Greece to become synonymous with e-Global.

Since starting operations Attica Venture’s has been particularly active, since it has examined the business plans of more than 400 companies, 14 of which are in various stages of negotiations and discussions about participation and it is expected that by the end of March, when the Fund will have been in operation for one year, that a further 2-3 investments in companies will have been made.”

Venture capital as an idea is beginning to develop a stronger role in Greece since over the last few months the ranks of existing funds were supplemented with two other bank funds (just like the others), a fact which is related to: 1) high returns compared to other fund investments of this type worldwide, 2) the fact that banks are the largest VC investors worldwide, 3) the prospects for development of the Greek economy over a medium- to long-term time frame, and 4) the new, more favourable legal framework for business development (development law, taxation of businesses, competition committee).

In conclusion, as Chairman and Executive Director of the Bank of Attica, Mr. Koumblis said, " an economy like that of Greece where venture capital and ways to support the development dynamic of the economy are being sought, the role of VC companies is fundamental and substantive, and should be further bolstered because it provides businesses with cheap capital, improves their growth and competitiveness and most importantly assists in the creation of new jobs and a rise in employment figures."


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