Domestic group Marfin eyes management stake in OTE, says report

19 Sep 2007

Greek firm Marfin Investment Group (MIG) is mulling a bid to acquire a controlling stake in the country’s incumbent fixed line operator OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation), according to local news site reporter.gr. The report says that executives from MIG and OTE met in the last few days, whilst MIG acquired additional OTE shares late last week, raising its existing minority stake from 5.3% to around 10.8%. MIG is reportedly considering launching a bid in the region of EUR2 billion (USD2.8 billion) for a 20% stake with some management influence, and could also take part in a mooted placement of part of the government’s 28% OTE stake. reporter.gr also notes the possibility that MIG could seek a strategic partnership with a foreign telecoms operator to take overall control of the incumbent. MIG, which was recently spun off from Marfin Popular Bank, previously bought a 5% stake in Greece’s former fixed line monopoly to up its shareholding to 5.3% in August. In June the government completed the placement of a 10.7% stake in OTE to institutional investors, lowering its holding to 28%. The state’s search for a strategic investor for the telco failed earlier in the year.

Greece, Cosmote