Vodafone Greece and Hellas Online (HOL) have finalised a strategic agreement under which the UK-backed cellco will acquire an 18.5% stake in HOL in exchange for merging its existing DSL operations into the Greek alternative broadband provider’s business. Going forward, the pair will jointly and exclusively market a triple-play product range composed of Vodafone’s GSM/3G mobile services and HOL’s fully unbundled local loop (ULL) broadband and fixed line telephony services. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vodafone Greece partnered HOL in July 2007 to enter the broadband market by launching converged fixed/mobile/broadband service bundles, including ADSL and a Vodafone Home Zone/Office Zone telephony subscription. Vodafone launched standalone ADSL2+ broadband access services in October 2007 over HOL’s ULL network. HOL is majority owned by Greek ICT group Intracom, with a minority stake held by Luxembourg-based World Equities Investments. Intracom/HOL operates the second largest fibre-optic backbone network in the country after former telecoms monopoly OTE, and Intracom also owns a 39% stake in a smaller ULL broadband operator, Athens-based Teledome.