OTE stake sold as sell-off race gets started
The Greek government has agreed to sell a 10 percent stake in OTE telecom to Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, kicking off efforts to meet goals set in the country’s ambitious privatization program.
The Bonn-based company said in a statement yesterday that Greece exercised a put option to sell a 10 percent stake in OTE for around 400 million euros.
Once the shares have
been transferred as part of the put option, the Greek state will hold 10 percent plus one vote in OTE, with Deutsche Telekom owning 40 percent plus one vote.
Greece has been under growing pressure to get its sell-off program off the ground after falling behind in its reforms agenda and missing targets set in its 2011 budget.
The government is aiming to raise 50 billion euros by reducing stakes in state assets including Hellenic Postbank and the Thessaloniki Water & Sewage (EYATH) to pay down debt.
According to the put option agreement between Greece and Deutsche Telekom, the shares will be priced at a 15 percent premium to average price levels seen in the last 20 days.
“Based on Friday’s closing price, the [sale price] stands at 7.97 euros per share, implying a total consideration of about 391 mil- lion euros, ” Proton Research said in a note.
Shares in OTE fell 3.23 percent to 6.89 euros yesterday, pushing its market capitalization to 3.3 billion euros, versus a 0.78 percent drop in the broader market.
Since 2008 Deutsche Telekom has spent 3.8 billion euros on OTE, Southeast Europe’s biggest telephone operator, to expand its footprint in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania.