Vodafone, Wind Hellas merger abandoned; exploring partnership alternatives

6 Feb 2012

UK-based Vodafone Group and Largo, the holding company of Greek cellco Wind Hellas, have ‘agreed to terminate discussions relating to a potential business combination between Vodafone Greece and Wind Hellas,’ the British mobile giant said in a statement this morning, as reported by Bloomberg. The proposed merger of the second- and third-largest Greek cellular network operators was called off after facing the likelihood of opposition from European Union anti-monopoly regulators, as it would have consolidated Greece’s mobile market down to two players with approximately 50% shares, led marginally by Cosmote, the cellular arm of incumbent national PSTN operator OTE. TeleGeography notes that a merger would also have given Vodafone Greece a leg-up in the broadband and fixed line segments by combining with Wind’s well-established fixed network division (formerly known as Tellas), and building on the UK-backed firm’s existing partnership with broadband operator Hellas Online to mount a serious challenge to OTE in the full-service telco field. Vodafone and Wind Hellas are now exploring alternative partnership strategies including sharing network infrastructure, according to local media reports.

Greece, Vodafone Greece (incl. Hellas Online), Wind Hellas (incl. Tellas)