Gov’t prepares sale of 5 pct stake in OTE
Greece has transferred a 5 percent stake it owns in telecoms group OTE to the country’s privatization agency (TAIPED), opening the way for the sale of the stake. OTE is 40 percent owned and managed by Deutsche Telekom, with the state holding a 10 percent stake. Under its third international aid program signed last year, Greece has agreed an ambitious privatization scheme – including the sale of half of its shares in OTE – aiming at raising 14 billion euros by 2022. The transfer of the 5 percent shareholding to TAIPED was published in the Government Gazette yesterday. The agency will now need to hire an adviser to proceed with the sale, the pre- cise timing of which is unclear. Deutsche Telekom has a right of first refusal in any sale. Some opposition lawmakers and OME-OTE, OTE’s largest trade union, which represents 14,000 workers in the company, oppose a sale, saying Greece will lose its influence in a strategically important company.