Cyprus puts Cyta’s Greek subsidiary up for sale
Cyprus’s state-owned operator Cyta has confirmed that it is looking for “strategic options” for its Greek fixed-network subsidiary, Cyta Hellas (or Cyta Greece).
The company said that it has separated Cyta Hellas from the rest of the Cyta group, “in order to open the prospect of strategic options with potential investment partners”.
The decision was confirmed by Cyprus government, which said that 100% of Cyta Hellas would be sold before Cyta itself is privatised. The government said that it would sell Cyta Hellas through a competition and that it was “inviting expressions of interest from investors”.
Cyta has 300,000 consumer and business subscribers in Greece, where it competes mainly against Deutsche Telekom-controlled OTE.
The company said in a statement: “The environment of economic uncertainty and constant changes in Greece creates major new challenges daily for all the telecoms industry companies.”
Cyta has invested €200 million in its Greek operations over eight years, where it has built 5,500km of fibre and set up 500 service points. The company “stood out in the market”, it said, but reports point out that it has been consistently loss-making, and has an estimated €60 million of debts.
The Cyprus Weekly newspaper quotes an unnamed source suggesting that Cyta might get no more than €30-€40 million for the Greek operation.
Mobile operator Wind Hellas was named in April as possibly interested in acquiring Cyta Hellas. Wind Hellas – once owned by Telecom Italia and then by Orascom – was rescued from financial difficulties in 2010 by a group of local investors.