OTE will not buy the Romtelecom stake; Romtelecom and Cosmote will merge

Newsroom 30/05/2011 | 14:45

The Greek group OTE has announced that it cannot forward an offer for the remaining Romtelecom shares, the Ministry of Communications announced in a press release.

OTE owns 54.01 percent of the Romtelecom shares, while the remaining stock of 45.99 percent of the shares are in the possession of the Romanian state.

German telco operator Deutsche Telekom also is involved indirectly in the Romtelecom shareholding structure, as it holds 30 percent of OTE shares.

The state announced its intention to sell its stock and has asked OTE to make an offer. The state previously said it expects EUR 1 billion for the stock.

The reasons for OTE’s decision not to buy are related to the continuation of the economic crisis in the region and in Greece, as well as the current financial strategy pursued by OTE to crack down on its debts. If circumstances change, OTE will also reconsider its position, according to the Ministry of Communications.

 “The OTE representatives believe the future of telecom companies is dictated by the development of the technology and the evolution of the needs and demands from consumers. In this context, they propose the immediate start of the merging operations of the two companies Romtelecom and Cosmote,” says the press release.

As announced before by BR, this move was already in the cards, as Stefanos Theocharopoulos, 43, currently CEO of mobile operator Cosmote was rumored to take over the management of Romtelecom as well. Currently, Romtelecom is led by GM Yorgos Ioannidis.

 The letter from OTE also stipulates that, if the Romanian government wishes to list the shares, partly or fully, on the stock exchange, then the group will send the necessary instructions to the Romtelecom management who will assist the Ministry in this process, according to stipulations in the Shareholders’ Agreement.

Otilia Haraga

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