Wind and Vodafone to take control of Forthnet

June 11, 2014 07.53 Europe/London By Robert Briel

ForthnetVodafone and Wind Hellas are joining forces to get full control of Forthnet including its pay TV platform Nova.

Together they now form a common front against Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT), the biggest shareholder in Forthnet, which is the main alternative fixed-line service and triple-play operator in Greece.

Wind Hellas currently owns 33% of Forthnet, and has agreed to transfer 13.25% of shares to Vodafone. Vodafone Greece, according to a statement released on Tuesday, has therefore obtained a call option to acquire 14.58 million Forthnet shares belonging to Wind, which it can exercise by June 4, 2015. No price has been announced for the transaction.

The move would take Vodafone’s stake in Forthnet from 6.5 to 19.75%, on a par with Wind Hellas’s from its current 33%. With their combined stake at just under 40%, they will then try to put pressure on EIT to sell its 44% stake.