Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company, acquired nearly 20% of Hellenic Telecommunications (“OTE”), the national telecommunications provider of Greece. The shares were sold by Marfin Investment Group, a Greek private equity firm whose stake in OTC represented their second largest investment. The purchase was made for EUR 2.5 billion, or EUR 26 per share. The execution of the deal was contingent on approval by the Greek government.
Hellenic Telecommunications (www.ote.gr)
OTE was privatised in 1998 and is currently the largest telecommunications provider in Greece with substantial operations in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, and Albania. The Greek government owns 28% of OTE.
Domestic services represent 75% of OTE’s business, with 25% coming from telecommunications operations in the Southeastern Europe region. In 2007, OTE had a net income of EUR 662.6 million.
Deutsche Telekom (www.telekom.de)
Bonn, Germany-based Deutsche Telekom AG is the largest telecommunications company in the European Union, with 244,000 employees worldwide and a 2007 market capitalization of US 65 billion. Deutsche Telekom owns considerable interests in the Central and Southeastern European markets, including holdings in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
Southern Europe is considered to be one of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in Europe, and the firm’s stake in OTE strengthens its position on the Balkan Peninsula.
Marfin Investment Group (www.marfininvestmentgroup.com)
The Marfin Investment Group is a Greek-based private equity firm focused primarily on the South-eastern European market. Marfin is the largest private equity group in Southern Europe; in July 2007, it executed a EUR 5.2 billion public offering on the Athens Stock Exchange. Some of Marfin’s largest investments are RKB, a Serbian grocery chain, and OTE, the Greek mobile phone company.