Telekom Serbia to buy back OTE stake

Telekom Serbia’s board and shareholders have approved the purchase of Greek provider OTE’s stake in the company. The state-run operator is expected to pay €380 million for Deutsche Telekom-owned OTE’s 20% stake, restoring 100% ownership.

The deal has yet to be finalised, but price and other key elements of the proposed agreement have been approved.

The sale by OTE comes as a result of the company’s need to cut debts following the recession in Greece.

The Serbian government has been keen to regain 100% ownership of its operations in order to consolidate control and attract future investors.

In April, the Serbian government rejected a €960 million offer from Telekom Austria for a 51% share in the company, saying it would accept no compromise on the original €1.4 billion asking price. The rejection was in spite of a commitment by Telekom Austria to invest a further €450 million in the operator over a period to improve its antiquated infrastructure. No further offers from Telekom Austria or other parties were made.

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