Greece’s third largest mobile operator TIM Hellas’ revenues for the third quarter of 2006 rose by 10.6% year-on-year to EUR258.4 million (USD331 million), on the back of higher monthly service fees, increased outgoing pre-paid traffic, increased roaming and data revenues and more incoming traffic from other network operators, and despite a cut in interconnection rates effective from June 2006. EBITDA rose by EUR17.5 million year-on-year to EUR 91.8 million whilst net profit fell to EUR15.8 million from EUR25.1 million a year ago due to the cost of financing the company’s takeover by Texas Pacific Group and Apax Partners. Monthly ARPU fell to EUR31.6 from EUR33.1 in the year-ago period. Quarterly capex was EUR33.9 million, focused on expanding the GSM network and rolling out W-CDMA technology. The cellco added 151,615 new subscribers in July-September, reaching a total customer base of 2.698 million. Meanwhile TIM Hellas’ subsidiary, Greek fixed line and mobile operator Q-Telecom posted third-quarter turnover of EUR47.2 million, up 22.6% compared to a year earlier.
Texas Pacific and Apax recently put TIM Hellas on the market for EUR4 billion (USD5.1 billion), and reports from sources close to the deal suggest that there are three bidders left in the race – private finance house Providence Equity Partners, UAE incumbent Etisalat and Turkish mobile heavyweight Turkcell.