Published: 08.28 Europe/London, June 7, 2011

Deutsche Telekom has acquired a further 10% in OTE for around €400 million, taking its stake in the Greek incumbent telco to 40% plus one share. The Greek government has been left with a 10% stake, the remaining 50% being held by Greek and foreign institutional investors.

The sale was triggered by the Greek government exercising its option to sell the 10% stake and in accordance with a Share Purchase Agreement dated May 2008.

It is likely to be followed by other privatisations as Greece seeks to reduce its huge debts.

Telekom is understood to be interested in acquiring a further 6% in OTE providing the conditions are right.

The sale follows only days after OTE decided against buying the 46% of the Romanian incumbent telco Romtelecom, citing difficult economic conditions in both Greece and Romania.

Through Romtelecom, OTE and ultimately Deutsche Telekom are leading players in Romania’s TV industry, operating DTH, IPTV and cable services.

Romania’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCSI) is meanwhile reported to have agreed to the merger of Romtelecom and mobile operator Cosmote, which was proposed last week by OTE.

However, it has refused to be drawn on the stake the Romanian state would hold in the new entity. Cosmote is currently 70% owned by OTE, with Romtelecom holding the remaining 30%.