Shareholders of Greek broadband operator Hellas Online (HOL) have approved the partnership deal agreed with cellco Vodafone Greece earlier this year, under which the latter will acquire an 18.5% stake in HOL in exchange for merging its existing DSL operations into HOL’s business. HOL will issue new shares worth EUR12.9 million (USD18.8 million), while the UK-backed firm’s assets were valued at a net EUR41 million. Vodafone Greece announced that the transfer of operations will now go ahead. Upon completion, the provision, management and billing of all Vodafone ADSL and fixed line services in Greece will be carried out by HOL. 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 ownership change 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.