Deutsche Telekom takes 25% stake in OTE for EUR3.2 billion

15 May 2008

German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom (DT) has clinched a deal giving it a 25% stake and management control of Greece’s former monopoly telco OTE for a total price of around EUR3.2 billion (USD4.95 billion), the Greek Finance Ministry has confirmed. The Greek government and DT yesterday reached an agreement on the terms of a sale of a 3% state-held stake in OTE to DT for EUR442 million, which in turn allows DT to close its previously agreed purchase of a 19.99% slice of OTE from Greek-based Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for EUR2.55 billion. The two deals carry a price tag of EUR2.99 billion, and DT says it will purchase additional shares via the Athens Stock Exchange to give it an ownership interest in OTE of 25% plus one voting share for a total price of around EUR3.2 billion, based in the Greek operator’s current share price. Assuming the transaction is approved by parliament and the regulatory authorities, DT and the government will hold equal shares and have joint management control of OTE, which operates mobile phone networks across south-eastern Europe via its Cosmote subsidiary as well as fixed line services through stakes in companies including RomTelecom. The German firm will appoint OTE’s CEO whilst its chairman will be appointed by the state. Over the next few years DT is likely to raise its stake in OTE, as it has been granted pre-emptive rights over the remaining shares held by the government, which has a put option for a further 5% tranche, valid for twelve months from October 2008, and a second put option for a 10% stake, valid until 2011.

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