IKTINOS HELLAS S.A. : Tourism investments and future plans in marble industry

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Sitia Bay Golf Resort mega project in Crete, Rentinia Inn in Agrafa, 20% placement way in Iktinos and daughters entry

“Run before the facts”, say financial gurus worldwide. This could have been Evangelos Chaidas’ “motto”, the bussinessman from Karditsa, who has established a powerful status quo as well as a strong name in industry sector. And even if he keeps a low profile in his personal life – photographs portaying him can be counted on the fingers of one hand- he is constantly at the forefront with his professional activity during hard times.

He is also consistently developing new plans, proving what one of his daughters, Julia, had declared during a recent interview of hers, that insightfulness is the one that have saved the group over the years.

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Nowadays, modern “Iktinos”, as Evangelos Chaids is called in business family, except his core business investments, marble industry – where he is aware of every secret- shifts up a gear in another sector: tourism. And this is revealed by his activity.

Being a man that leaves nothing to chance, this marble industrialist knows how to cut his way through in relation to the circumstances and is staking a lot on the heavy industry of Greece. And this how we can explain his change of direction.

Originally, when Dolphin Capital of his good friend and partner since 2000 in Sitia Bay Golf Resort mega project, Miltos Kampouridis, decided to divest from their common company Latirus Ltd- in relation to Dolphin’s overall strategic restructuring- Chaidas had declared that he would not acquire the 79,65% share of Dolphin but, on the contrary, he was allegedly inquiring strategic investor as well.

However, it seems that have been second thoughts powered by Greek tourism dynamics and the growing needs of modern amenities in Crete, giving him a new great investing opportunity as well as reinforcing his position in tourism sector.

The five-star hotel

And this was the way he decided to obtain the 100% of Latirus- buying his former partner’s share at the attractive price of 14-15 million euros- and is now willing to take part in the five-star plan implementation, investing about 10 million euros, as long as an important “co-player” – investor can be found, while Iktinos retains strong minority shareholding.

The aim is to create a five-star hotel, a marina of 85 berthing places, a spa center, a 200 people conference center, as well as two major holdings where 300 luxury terraced houses are to be built. According to information, there are contacts with several investors, however, there has not yet been an agreement, although the market takes it for granted.

Furthermore, tourism is not an unknown territory for Chaidas family. He has created “Rentinia Inn”, a stone-built four-star pension in his hometown Karditsa, in the middle of Agrafa, among pines and firs, in order to help the place to become popular as well as to spread Byzantine and contemporary culture.

“The investment in Rentina is not targeting to profit”, he has memorably stated. And when he wants to feel calm away for the city noise, he often visits his retreat, as he calls it.

Steer for tomorrow

At the same time he steers for new projects in marble industry. There, he is not alone anymore. His three daughters are by his side, with whom they open together new chapters and shape Iktinos next day. Julia, Lydia and Anastasia- Julia, who possess 5,24 % each at the company’s share capital, have been assigned with high-level responsibilities in management as well, while Julia performs the tasks of the vice-president.

They provide the company with their own “tempo” of development, proving that they are not just their father’s daughters but they have strong personalities, they take the initiatives needed and they all together under their father’s surveillance decide the next day of their “marble empire”.

This next day deploys through several channels. Firstly, it deploys through extroversion, as 98% of

of the total Iktinos sales are exports, spread in China, Mexico etc, while in the past Iktinos had charmed even the construction colossus of Bin Landen’s family, coming to an agreement shaking the market up, as they provided Greek marble for the reconstruction and preservation works on monuments in Mecca and Medina, the holiest places for Islam. It deploys through exports, but also a 20% placement is on the way, according to information.

Well-informed sources claim that during the last nine months Evangelos Chaidas is developing a plan of shares disposal in order to attract a foreign strategic investor, who will take his part in the company’s development and massive enlargement. He is already reported to have several proposals to value, while the market believes it’s only a matter of time new facts to break through.What has not been cleared is whether Evangelos Chaidas shareholding (50,95 %) or one of his daughters is going to be offered.

Unquestionably, if 20% is going to be verified, alloting such an important proportion is mainly positive, keeping in mind the company’s further enforcement, although there are also the ones claiming this possibly happens because of the company’s plans funding inability.

Others believe that this is a strategic move towards having a powerful shareholding co-player who will open new paths for the group. Moreover, many point out that the forthcoming developments are also suggested by the packages Evangelos Chaidas is collecting during several weeks now, while Iktinos stock has jumped to 4,62 euros with 101,35% yield from the start of the year and over 34% during a month.

From just an architect to international major projects

Evangelos Chaidas’ 45 years business history is full of events and intermediate stations. He started as an architect in the construction field and he always liked to use marble to line buildings and houses. He soon noticed the export power in the marble sector as well as the potentials of the utilisation of the country’s unlimited deposits and after his tenure in Greek Marbles, where he became aware of the product secrets, he decided to create his own company in 1974, Iktinos, which was ment to be recognisable worldwide.

Nowadays Iktinos exports to 90 countries and to the biggest markets. There had been severe difficulties during the first export attempts as foreigners were skeptical. A good name was gradually created, something to be proven till today in the international trade fairs as well. The export potentials redirected Evangelos Chaidas into taking over quaries as well. In 1998 he acquired the marble factory in Vrilissia (Feidias), where the material is being refined for third parties as well, while 2000 is the landmark year because of Iktinos’ admission to quotation.

During the years Iktinos was taking on larger and more iconic projects. It is highly illustrative that their marbles have lined some of the most important buildings in the world: among others Dubai Mall, the French Television building in Paris, Wynn casino listed company hotels in Las Vegas, hotels in Mexico, in Singapure, in Portugal etc.

Looking ahead to new takeovers

Iktinos may be a main representative of the extroverted greek companies, but Evangelos Chaidas continues to persist “greek”.

Even during the difficult economic times of the country, his strategic was “we remain in Greece” trying to support his country and not to follow the way of other powerful businessmen who relocated their head offices or even their factories abroad.

In this context, he continues to turn his investing interest into Greek borders, trying to service the growing needs in the markets abroad. For Evangelos Chaidas Greece and foreign markets are absolutely related for Iktinos development.

The founder of Iktinos, who is considered to be one of the market makers of the listed on Athinon Boulevard company, has not ruled out the prospect of acquiring more quaries to assure the objective achievement of incrising their production impact and covering the growing export needs. It is also highly possible to acquire other companies if an attractive offer occurs, which can create economies of scale, synergies and give increased income and profit.

Evangelos Chaidas is not that kind of bussinessman who is often seen in ministries or in pictures with politicians.

He takes part in bussiness missions abroad, accompanying Prime Ministers in order to promote his bussiness plans.

Together with Samaras

Some years ago Evangelos Chaidas was one of the bussinessmen who accompanied ex-Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, in China, coming to a major agreement for marble exports in the vast Red Dragon country.

The investing orgasm in Chinese real estate created needs for massive marble imports and this is how the high quality Greek marble was chosen by many companies.

One of China’s secrets fro Evangelos Chaidas is, according to sources, marble blocks combined with the processing cost.

This means that a great part of the total exports travels unprocessed to China, where the processing cost is smaller, and then it is re-imported to Europe prosecced in higher price. This is a common practice for other marble and bulding materials companies.

Source: www.thessaliaeconomy.gr