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OTE to fund FTTH with €150m EU and EBRD loan

Michael Tsamaz OTE.jpg

Greek operator OTE – 50% owned by Deutsche Telekom – is to raise a total of €150 million in a low-interest loan from the European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The money will be used to part-pay OTE’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) plan for Greece, which is set to cost more than €3 billion by 2027.

The total annual interest rate is expected to range between 1.3% and 1.7%.

Out of the €150 million that OTE will receive, €93.75 million comes from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, channelled through the Greek Ministry of Finance, while EBRD will contribute €56.25 million.

Another €37.5 million for the FTTH project comes from OTE’s own funds.

The deal was signed by Michael Tsamaz (pictured), chairman and CEO of the OTE group, along with Dirk Werner, EBRD’s head of telecommunications, media and technology, in the presence of Christos Staikouras, the Greek Minister of Finance.

OTE used to be state-owned, but Deutsche Telekom took a 20% state in 2008 and now has 50% voting rights in the company, which also owns OTEGlobe, its international operator. Its annual revenue last year was €3.37 billion.

Tsamaz said: “The agreement is a vote of confidence in the company and its potential. At the same time, it contributes significantly to the rollout of OTE’s FTTH network other than in major cities and thus to Greece’s regional inclusion, digital transformation and green transition.”

EBRD’s Werner said: “I am delighted to be signing this important deal with our long-standing partner, OTE, today. Our investment will help the Greek economy in its digital and green transition, while bringing reliable and energy-efficient broadband technologies to areas outside of major cities.”

The loan has an eight-year duration with repayment at maturity and it will finance a project of €187.5 million.

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