According to reports in the Italian press, Telecom Italia (TI) is contemplating an exit from Greece by selling its 80.7% stake in Greek mobile operator TIM Hellas. The move is being prompted by the Italian company’s desire to cut debt and focus on its key strategic markets. TI’s stake is valued at around EUR1.1 billion and is thought to have generated interest from several parties, including a US venture capital group which could restructure the operator before selling it on again to an international telco.
TIM Hellas is due to publish its full year 2004 results later today and the market is hoping to see a 5.1% rise in sales to EUR850 million, EBITDA of EUR249.2 million (-9.6%) and net income of EUR73.7 million (-20.5%). The last twelve months have been difficult for the operator which has incurred high re-branding costs and been affected by reduced fixed-to-mobile termination rates, lower roaming revenues and a Mobitel claim.