The Greek government has launched an international tender to sell a 5% stake in former monopoly telco OTE (Cosmote), a move in line with Greece’s international economic bailout terms. Privatisation agency Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF, or locally TAIPED) announced on its website the start of the process for the acquisition of 24.51 million common registered shares in OTE SA, ‘to be conducted in one phase’, requesting that interested investors submit their binding offers, in accordance with the Request For Proposal posted on the HRADF website, no later than 15 March 2018 (with a 7 March deadline to request clarifications).
Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (DT) owns a 40% stake in OTE and has pre-emptive rights on the 5% stake to be tendered, although it has not yet indicated whether it will place an offer. The Greek state shares joint management control with DT, whilst retaining a 10% stake, half of which was transferred to the HRADF in November 2016 for subsequent sale.
Reuters reported that Greece has earmarked EUR250 million (USD307 million) from the OTE stake sale in this year’s budget plan, adding that OTE has a market value of EUR5.7 billion, ranking it Greece’s second biggest listed company by stock value after Coca-Cola HBC. Greece has raised about EUR4.7 billion from privatisations since it signed its first bailout in 2010 and aims to raise another EUR3 billion by 2019, a year after its current rescue programme expires.
OTE provides quadruple-play fixed voice/broadband, mobile and TV services in Greece under the Cosmote banner, and also operates in Romania (fixed and mobile services) and Albania (mobile).