Vodafone to buy Hellas Online stake
23 August 2014, 08:34
London - Britain's Vodafone has agreed to acquire a further 73% stake in Greece's broadband and fixed-line telephony provider Hellas Online for €73m ($97m), to help it better compete in the highly competitive market.
Vodafone, which bought an 18.5% stake in the company in 2009, said the purchase would help it to offer more services to its customers in Greece and better compete with the market leader, OTE.
The transaction is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2014, after which Vodafone Greece will own 91.2% of Hellas Online and be under an obligation to extend a mandatory takeover offer for the remaining shares.
Vodafone said Hellas had around 519 000 customers at the end of 2013, representing a market share of around 11%.
In a bid to challenge OTE's market leadership in Greece, Vodafone tried but failed in 2012 to merge with Greece's third-biggest operator, Wind Hellas. It has also submitted a joint bid with Wind for Greece's biggest subscription TV provider Forthnet.