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Vodafone takes majority in Hellas Online

Vodafone is paying €72.7 million to acquire a 72.7% stake in Greek broadband/phone service provider Hellas Online.

Vodafone bought an 18.5% stake in the company in 2009 and has been looking to acquire a larger share since some time. The company 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.

The new deal will bring Vodafone’s total stake above 91%, and is expected to close in Q4. The combination with its Greek unit will make it the second-largest integrated phone company in Greece by revenue.

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Hellas had 519K customers at the end of 2013, good for an estimated 11% market share. It had 2013 revenue of €227.4 million, and EBITDA of €68.4 million.

OTE (Hellenic Telecom), whose two largest shareholders are Deutsche Telekom and the Greek government, is the largest phone company in the country and reported €4.05 billion in sales last year.

The deal follows Vodafone’s acquisitions of German cabler Kabel Deutschland and Spanish cable operator ONO.

In March 2009, Hellas launched an IPTV service, featuring access to free-to-air channels, plus dedicated news, information, music, children’s and sports channels, as well as a VOD service.

Source: www.broadbandtvnews.com