Rumors rife about board line-up changes at ELPE

Rumors of board line-up changes at ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) have been rife over the past few weeks, ahead of a company shareholders’ meeting this Friday, but the prospect of a move by the refinery’s chairman Stathis Tsotsoros to the main power utility PPC, in place of its chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, as was reported by local media on Sunday, has been ruled out by a government source.

Paneuropean Oil, a member of the Latsis corporate group, is the main shareholder of ELPE with a 45.47 percent stake, while the Greek State holds a 35 percent share.

The possibility of board changes at ELPE emerged slightly less than a month ago when disagreements between the two main shareholders led to the postponement of the refinery’s annual shareholders’ meeting by a month.

At the time, Paneuropean issued a statement noting that talks between the two main shareholders had yet to be completed, without providing further details.

It has been reported that Paneuropean is seeking stronger representation on the ELPE board. Other sources have attributed the disagreement to issues concerning the development of Hellenikon, the former Athens International Airport, a prime seaside expanse in southern Athens in which the Latsis group holds an interest.

Other reports contend that the Greek State and Paneuropean have reached an agreement for the ELPE board and can be expected to deliver a common proposal at Friday’s meeting.

At present, the Latsis group is represented by just two officials on ELPE’s 13-member board, despite being the refinery’s main shareholder.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, commenting a month ago on ELPE’s recent record profit figures, noted that the company’s results were impressive, while adding: “winning teams don’t change their line ups.”