8% government stake on table for DT in OTE talks

25 Mar 2008

Greece’s finance minister George Alogoskoufis said on Friday that the government may sell up to 8% of former monopoly telco OTE to Deutsche Telekom (DT). The German group earlier this month agreed to buy a 19.9% stake in the incumbent from Greek firm Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for EUR2.55 billion (USD3.93 billion) and has entered talks with the state to raise its holding and become a strategic management partner. ‘We have entered discussions, through our advisers, with DT and believe we can reach an understanding on the levels of shareholding and the form of management,’ said Alogoskoufis. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database says that in late June 2007 the government carried out a domestic stock market placement of 10.7% of OTE’s shares, to institutional investors, reducing its stake from 38.7% to 28%, following an earlier failed attempt to attract a major strategic buyer.

In other news on Friday, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission approved the application of OTE to exercise its ‘squeeze-out rights’ to buy out the remaining minority shareholders of its mobile subsidiary Cosmote, which has set a date of 1 April 2008 to delist from the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX). OTE raised its ownership of Cosmote to 98.6% in January through a public share offer.

Greece, Cosmote, Cosmote (old), Deutsche Telekom (DT)