OTE sells Hellas Sat to Arabsat

OTE sells Hellas Sat to Arabsat

Greek carrier OTE has agreed to sell its 99.05% stake in Hellas Sat to Saudi Arabian-based satellite provider Arabsat for €157 million as part of its continued debt cutting plans.

Hellas Sat’s assets include the Hellas Sat 2 satellite, which carries 30 Ku-band transponders and provides satellite coverage across Europe. It is controlled via stations in Greece and Cyprus. 

The deal is equivalent to 7 times the EBITDA of Hellas Sat for 2012.

OTE will receive a total of €208 million from the sale when taking into account the €53.4 million of cash held by Hellas Sat on the date of completion of the transaction. The Greek carrier will also receive €7 million in dividends.

Michael Tsamaz, chairman and CEO of OTE, said the agreement would ensure the Greek and Cypriot governments are partnered with a reputable operator, who can undertake the necessary investment to retain their sovereign rights in space.

“Hellas Sat is being sold to a leading satellite communications operator with substantial growth prospects and with a keen interest to develop further its presence in the economies of Greece and Cyprus. OTE divests Hellas Sat at a satisfactory price, allowing us to focus on our core business,” he added.

Deutsche Telekom part owned OTE has been cutting costs and selling assets in the wake of severe recession in its largest markets Greece and Romania.

Ratings firm Standard and Poor upgraded OTE’s credit rating on Monday after the company sold £700 million of new bonds on January 30.

OTE is also planning to sell its Bulgarian unit Globul and has received bids from both Turkcelland Turk Telekom.

The success of the bond issue has led OTE to reconsider the Globul sale, according to some sources. The Bulgarian unit is one of OTE’s most successful businesses.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2013. Barclays acted as financial advisor to OTE.

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