Vodafone gets Forthnet stake to block Wind's way

Vodafone appears to have formed a common front with Arab company Forgendo to avert the acquisition of Greek telecommunication company Forthnet by rival Wind Hellas.

Reliable sources say that Vodafone has acquired a 7 percent stake in Forthnet through the recent share capital increase of the latter, which owns leading pay TV platform Nova.

As a result, by teaming up with Forgendo, which holds 44 percent of Forthnet, the two firms gain a commanding majority in the company. Wind Hellas is believed to control 33 percent of Forthnet after the share capital increase, but it may well be unable to obtain full control of the company now.

Vodafone is eager to prevent the strengthening of rival telephony and Internet provider Wind as that would give the latter a 20 percent market share in fixed telephony and a 70 percent share in pay TV, while also holding an 18 percent share in mobile telephony.

Vodafone has not yet confirmed that development.