Maltese telco GO (formerly Maltacom) yesterday agreed to buy a 21% stake in ForthNet for EUR93.83 million (USD138.61 million), making it the largest shareholder in the Greek alternative fixed line and broadband operator. The deal involves transferring the entire shareholdings owned by Novator Equities (10.12%) and Cycladic Catalyst Master Fund (5.73%), and a 5.15% stake held by Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), to Forgendo, an intermediary holding company registered in Cyprus. Forgendo is owned in equal portions by GO and its majority owner Emirates International Telecommunications (Malta) (EITM), which is acting as guarantor for the share purchase. EITM is itself a joint venture of Tecom Investments and Dubai Investment Group, both part of the Dubai Holding group. After the completion of the deal, which is subject to Greek regulatory approval, FORTH will retain 6.21% of ForthNet.
ForthNet is the largest single competitor to Greek incumbent OTE in the broadband market. Yesterday it launched a new, reduced price ADSL2+ package, offering unlimited internet access at download speeds of up to 24Mbps for EUR19.50 per month.