Deutsche Telekom to Buy Greek Stake

Deal for 20% of Greek phone co. conditional on management control
By Laila Weir,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 1:03 PM CDT
Deutsche Telekom to Buy Greek Stake
The headquarters of Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA, or OTE, is seen in the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi in this Oct. 5, 2007 aerial file photo.    (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

Deutsche Telekom plans to buy a 20% stake in Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) of Greece, for $3.92 billion. The deal is conditional on the German carrier getting management control, and the company will open talks immediately with the Greek government, the only larger shareholder. The OTE stake will let Europe’s biggest telephone company expand into Eastern Europe, reports the Wall Street Journal.

An OTE mobile subsidiary has operations in Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania. Deutsche Telekom will buy the OTE stake from Marfin Investment Group at $41 a share—36% above the March 14 closing price. Bloomberg reports the Greek economy minister called the deal “a welcome development,” though a “number of issues between the Greek government and Deutsche Telekom remain to be resolved.'' (Read more telecom industry stories.)

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