Equity houses circle Wind Hellas again

8 Sep 2009

Private equity firms are considering purchasing stakes in Greek full-service telecoms operator Wind Hellas as it looks at restructuring options to reduce its EUR3.2 billion (USD4.6 billion) debt pile, according to sources familiar with the situation quoted by Dow Jones Newswires yesterday. Two of the finance houses said to be interested are TPG and Apax Partners, both former owners of Wind Hellas which sold their stakes to Egyptian-backed, Italy-based Weather Investments in April 2007. Apax also owns a 5% stake in Weather, which is the parent group of Egyptian mobile group Orascom Telecom. At the end of 2008 Greek alternative fixed line and broadband operator Tellas was merged into Wind Hellas, but the company’s debts at end-July 2009 stood at more than eight times its EBITDA over the last twelve months, a ratio that is expected to rise. Morgan Stanley has been chosen to support capital restructuring procedures while Ernst & Young is acting as consultant for the implementation of the potential resulting strategies. Solutions under consideration include issuing new bonds, re-acquiring bonds already in circulation, getting new investors on-board or a combination of any of the above.

Greece, Wind Hellas