Dimitris Melissanidis

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Dimitris Melissanidis
Δημήτρης Μελισσανίδης
Born (1952-06-15) June 15, 1952 (age 64)[1]
Nikaia, Greece
Residence Athens, Greece
Nationality  Greece
Occupation Entrepreneur & Shipowner
Net worth Increase US$3.2 billion (2015)[2]
Board member of Founder & Development Consultant of Aegean Marine Petroleum
Co–Owner of Emma Delta Hellenic Holdings Ltd
Major Shareholder of OPAP
Owner of AEK Athens F.C.
Religion Greek Orthodox

Dimitris Melissanidis (Greek: Δημήτρης Μελισσανίδης) born June 15, 1951 in Nikaia, Greece, is a Greek business shipping magnate and oil tycoon who is one of Greece's most successful businessmen.[3] Dimitris Melissanidis who is nicknamed "Tiger" is sometimes described as the largest independent supplier of fuel oil on the planet.[4] He is the founder and owner of Aegean Marine Petroleum which is the largest independent fuel supplier in the world and the second largest Oil company in Greece,[5][6] a majority shareholder of OPAP, which is Europe's biggest betting firm,[7][8] the co-owner of Emma Delta Ltd [9] and leader of AEK Athens F.C.

Melissanidis was ranked 98th in 2015 and 97th in 2014 in the world in the Lloyd's List Top 100 Most Influential People in the Shipping Industry[10] and has been repeatedly acknowledged for his prestigious international shipping contribution.[11] Melissanidis has also been acknowledged for his successful business career on Forbes magazine.[12]

He has served as AEK Athens Football Club's thirtieth (30th) and thirty second (32nd) president, serving from 1992–1993 and 1994-1995 respectively. He was also president of AEK during 1998-1999 but ENIC Group was the shareholder.

On June 7, 2013, with AEK relegated to the Amateur Division because of financial problems, Dimitris Melissanidis became again active for the club as an administrative leader. Later, together with other notable AEK fans and old players, they created the non-profit association "Union Friends of AEK" (Enosi Filon AEK) which took the majority stake of the football club.[13]

Early life[edit]

Melissanidis was born in Nikaia, Greece and was raised in Athens. He is the son of a Pontic refugee, Zoras Melissanidis, active in Pontic affairs, and a deeply respected local political figure prior to his forced move to Athens. Melissanidis began as a businessman in 1975 owning a small driving school in Korydallos area.[14]

Business career[edit]

Emma Delta Ltd[edit]

Melissanidis is co-owner of Emma Delta Ltd alongside Czech businessman Jiri Smejc.[9][15][16] Emma Delta is an investment group which holds shares in many countries. In 2013 Emma Delta acquired 33% of OPAP, which is Europe's biggest betting firm, for €652 million.

OPAP[edit]

Main article: OPAP

In 2013 Emma Delta acquired 33% of Europe's biggest betting firm OPAP for €652 million which was funded by coowners Melissanidis and Jiri Smejc. Melissanidis invested the majority of the money into OPAP which makes him the majority shareholder of OPAP.[7][17] At the signing, Melissanidis ended his statement by commenting that “OPAP is turning a page”.[18]

Aegean Marine Petroleum[edit]

Melissanidis is the founder and owner of Aegean Marine Petroleum. He launched the business in 1995. Aegean Marine Petroleum is listed the second largest Oil company in Greece behind Hellenic Petroleum and the largest independent fuel supplier in the world.[6] Aegean is a large oil and shipping company in Greece and has a global presence in 33 markets, including America, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia, The Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, South Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Singapore, Morocco, Gibraltar, Fujairah, Cape Verde, Panama, The United Arab Emirates, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Canary Islands.[19] Aegean Oil is also the leading marine fuels physical supplier in Greece.[20]

Aegean Marine Petroleum is a marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea. The Company procures product from various sources (such as refineries, oil producers and traders) and resells it to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors and leading cruise lines.

Plus, it supplies the United States Navy in the Mediterranean Sea and it is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[21][22]

AEK Athens F.C.[edit]

Main article: AEK Athens F.C.

Melissanidis was President of AEK Athens F.C. during the 90's. In 2008 Melissanidis wanted to buy AEK and offered to purchase the club for a fee between €120 million to €150 million. However the deal was by phone to the then president of the club but when he asked Melissandis to make written proposal this never happened.[23]

On June 7, 2013, Dimitris Melissanidis became again active for AEK, after they declared bankruptcy, in order to save the club and bring them back to success. The company declared bankruptcy and were relegated to Greece's third tier. The club was reported to owe €170 million ($219 million) in taxes and will start the 2013/14 campaign in the Football League 2, the country's third amateur division.[24] Later, together with other notable AEK fans and old players, they created the non-profit association "Union Friends of AEK" (Enosi Filon AEK) which took the majority stake of the football club.

Since the arrival and return of Melissandis to the club, AEK has secured major sponsorship deals which will give the club a huge financial boost. Melissanidis has secured a €2.1 million sponsorship deal from OPAP, a €1.5 million contract with Greek Telecommunications company Nova Sports and a €1 million sponsorship deal with Fujitsu.

Melissanidis has unveiled plans also for a new stadium in Nea Filadelfia, where the old stadium of AEK was placed.[25][26]

On October 2, 2013 the AEK Athens board, under Dimitris Melissanidis, presented plans for the new stadium to the municipality of Nea Filadelfeia, in order to gain permission to build. A new 4-star UEFA system stadium will be built, seating between 32,500 and 35,000 spectators. The cost of this project is estimated to be around €70-80 million. It is modelled after the Agia Sophia church in Constantinople, as AEK has its roots there. Around 1,500-2,000 new jobs will become available and the neighbourhood is expected to benefit largely from this endeavour.[27] The design of the stadium was designed by Italian architect Massimo Majowiecki. He is most known for designing the home ground of the Juventus Stadium.[28]

Other[edit]

Melissanidis has social and philanthropic action, mainly in cooperation with the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In January 2014, he was honoured with the title of Kouropalates (cura palatii) by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, a title given for the first time since the 15th century.[29][30]

Controversy[edit]

Dimitris Melissanidis has been involved in many controversies over the years. In the 1980s when he ran his first business in Piraeus (a driving school) he received his first bribery conviction and then another bribery conviction for paying off two players in an amateur football league.[31]

In 1996, Melissanidis and his business partner, Yiannis Karras, were charged to a prison sentence[32] for oil smuggling, however the charges were dropped and Melissanidis was not found guilty for oil smuggling after countless prosecutors refused to attend trial.[33]

During the time of negotiations with OPAP, Costas Louropoulos, OPAP’s chief executive, felt put “under pressure by Mr Melissanidis in a series of telephone calls. “He insulted me, as on many previous occasions. . . You dare to sign [the Intralot and lottery contracts] and I will take your head off”, Mr Louropoulos quoted Mr Melissanidis as telling him on May 20, 2013”, according to the "Financial Times".[34] Also, immediately after the signing of the OPAP deal, the Greek privatization agency chairman, Stelios Stavridis, was dismissed by Greek Finance Minister, Yannis Stournaras, “for ethical reasons”, when news reports emerged that he travelled on Dimitris Melissanidis’ private jet.[35]

Furthermore in a highly publicized incident, discussed in the Greek Parliament, calling from an ‘Aegean Oil’ listed telephone number, Melissanidis personally bullied with death threats to Lefteris Charalambopoulos,[36] the Greek reporter who published the government report in the left-wing ‘Unfollow’ magazine.[37][38] The caller self-identified as Dimitris Melissanidis threatened the reporters life repeatedly. Part of what was said by the man self-identified as Dimitris Melissanidis, which was taken down by the reporter, follows: “I could have you killed without having warned you. But I am a man and I’m gonna have you blown up in your sleep. I’ll have you killed, you, your wife, your children, everything you’ve got”. When the reporter told the caller that he would alert the authorities, he replied: “Screw you and the authorities. I don’t understand anything, I am Melissanidis. You will not be able to sleep. You will not be able to go out, I’ll be your nightmare. Fear of me will haunt you. They will come to your house and blow you up in your sleep. I am used to talking to big journalists. I looked you up and I will tear you down”.[39]

Furthermore, after Melissanidis assumed OPAP's management, AEK FC received a €2.1 million sponsorship deal. Protesting about “unfair competition” due to Melissanidis’ management of both AEK and OPAP, some Greek football teams pulled out of their OPAP sponsorship contracts. Olympiacos F.C. pulled out of its €1.9 million sponsorship deal with OPAP.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Melissanidis' age
  2. ^ http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Business_1/Profile-of-a-Greek-Oligrach-Dimitris-Melissanidis-The-Oil-Trader.shtml
  3. ^ Forbes
  4. ^ Biography
  5. ^ Aegean oil second largest oil company in greece
  6. ^ a b Aegean largest independent fuel supplier in the world
  7. ^ a b Emma Delta acquired 33 % of OPAP
  8. ^ Melissanidis major shareholder of OPAP
  9. ^ a b Melissanidis Emma Delta Ltd
  10. ^ "One Hundred Most Influential People in the Shipping Industry. Edition 6.". Lloyd's List. December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Dimitrios Melissanidis Lloy'ds List - Top 100
  12. ^ Melissanidis forbes
  13. ^ Mεγαλομέτοχος της ΠΑΕ η Ένωση Φίλων ΑΕΚ
  14. ^ Early life
  15. ^ Melissanidis Emma delta co owner
  16. ^ Melissanidis Emma delta Jiri Smejc
  17. ^ Melissanidis largest investor
  18. ^ Melissanidis statement
  19. ^ Aegean Inc
  20. ^ Aegean oil leading marine supplier in greece
  21. ^ Aegean oil american navy
  22. ^ AEGEAN MARINE PETROLEUM NETWORK Inc (NYSE:ANW)
  23. ^ Melissanidis AEK 2008
  24. ^ AEK debts
  25. ^ AEK build new stadium
  26. ^ Dimitrios Melissanidis unvelis new plans for AEK
  27. ^ http://www.gazzetta.gr/football/article/547028/aek-ayto-einai-spiti-soy-pics-vid
  28. ^ http://aek365.com/a-273056/o-rolos-kleidi-tou-masimo-magiobietski-gia-thn-filadelfeia.htm Massimo Majowiecki designs the new AEK stadium
  29. ^ Άρχοντας Κουροπαλάτης της Αγίας του Χριστού Μεγάλης Εκκλησίας» αναγορεύθηκε ο Δημήτρης Μελισσανίδης
  30. ^ Άρχων της Μεγάλης Εκκλησίας» ο Δημήτρης Μελισσανίδης
  31. ^ http://www.thepressproject.net/article/57229/Melissanidis
  32. ^ "ΑΚΟΜΗ ΣΤΗ ΦΥΛΑΚΗ Ο ΜΕΛΙΣΣΑΝΙΔΗΣ". Makedonia. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  33. ^ Ktenas Spyros (1996-10-20). "Οι λαθρέμποροι πετρελαίου κλέβουν 80 εκατ. την ημέρα". To Vima (Το Βήμα). Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  34. ^ Kerin Hope (June 27, 2013). "Greece faces collapse of second key privatization". Financial Times. 
  35. ^ Harry Papachristou (Aug 18, 2013). "UPDATE 2-Greek privatisation chief dismissed over holiday flight". Reuters. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  36. ^ Baboulias Yiannis (5 February 2013). "Reporter receives death threats from man self-identified as Aegean Oil magnate (UPDATES)". Urban Diaries. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  37. ^ Augustine Zenakos (February 3, 2013). "REPORTER THREATENED OVER AEGEAN OIL SMUGGLING REPORT". Borderline Reports. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  38. ^ Elektra Kotsoni (February 2013). "A Greek Oil Baron Wants to Blow Me Up in My Sleep". Vice. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  39. ^ Dimitrios Melissanidis
  40. ^ Panos Bletsos (18 September 2013). "Olympiacos ditch OPAP sponsor cash over AEK row". Inside World Football. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 

External links[edit]