Following an offer on the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) to buy out all minority shareholders in Cosmote, Greek telco OTE has raised its stake in its mobile arm to 98.592%. Former monopoly wireline operator OTE launched a voluntary tender for the 32.17% of shares that it did not own in Cosmote in November 2007, priced at EUR26.25 (USD38.54) per share, a total cost of EUR2.83 billion, as well as 1,165,070 new shares (the maximum number that may be listed on ATHEX). The acceptance period for the offer ended on 25 January, and as OTE’s ownership now exceeds 90%, it plans to exercise its ‘squeeze out right’ to buy the remaining shares at the same price within three months, and proceed with delisting Cosmote from ATHEX.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Cosmote is Greece’s largest mobile operator with 5.939 million GSM subscribers at the end of September 2007. Internationally the cellco has wireless interests in Bulgaria (GloBul), Romania (Cosmote Romania), Macedonia FYROM (Cosmofon) and Albania (Albanian Mobile Communications – AMC).