Greece’s Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) announced on Thursday it sold its 54 percent stake in Telekom Romania Communications to Orange Romania.
It announced that the final equity consideration reached €295.6 million ($341 million).
OTE says that it anticipates distributing to shareholders approximately €174 million, in the form of extraordinary dividend and incremental share buybacks. The dividend distribution, subject to appropriate corporate approvals, is expected to take place within 2021.
OTE’s Chairman and CEO, Michael Tsamaz, noted: “The sale of Telekom Romania Fixed is a strategic decision enabling OTE’s rapid infrastructure rollout in Greece and enhancing its long term growth outlook and shareholder value. In Romania, it will support the growth of Telekom Romania Fixed and drive market competitiveness benefiting Romanian customers and society.
“OTE remains in the Romanian market with Telekom Romania Mobile, targeting positive cash flow generation through a revamped market approach. It is therefore a transaction that benefits all parties involved. I would like to thank Telekom Romania’s management and employees for all the company’s accomplishments to date and wish them a prosperous future.”
OTE is largest technology company in Greece
OTE is the largest technology company in Greece. It is one of the three largest companies listed in the Athens Stock Exchange, according to market capitalization.
It offers fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband services, pay television and integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
At the same time, the Group is involved in a range of activities, notably satellite communications, real-estate and professional training. Formerly a state-owned monopoly, OTE’s privatization started in 1996 and is now listed on the Athens and London Stock Exchanges.
The OTE Group employs about 13,000 people in Greece and approximately 20,000 in total.
Deutsche Telekom becomes main shareholder
Since July 2009 Deutsche Telekom is the largest shareholder of the company. In 2018, the German telecommunications giant acquired the remaining five-percent stake in OTE. The move was part of the privatization drive in Greece.
OTE Group has the largest fiber optic network in Greece, COSMOTE Fiber, which enables more than 77 percent of the population to have access to internet speeds of 100 Mbit/s or higher.
At the end of 2020 OTE achieved its ambitious expansion objective, covering more than 300,000 households, and is on track to reach approximately 500,000 households by the end of 2021.
In mobile telephony as well, the company breaks new ground as COSMOTE became the first mobile operator in Greece to launch 5G services in the wake of a successful round of spectrum auction in December 2020.
The Company plans to reach 5G population coverage of approximately 50 percent by the end of 2021 and to cover the nationwide highway system by 2023, while continuing to promote data usage over its superior 4G/4G+ network.