Greek Parliament loses OTE veto right, paving way for sale

TAGS: Business

Greek lawmakers agreed on Tuesday to remove Parliament’s right to veto any change in a shareholders’ agreement controlling telecoms group OTE, paving the way for the state’s sale of a 5 percent stake worth some 200 million euros.

OTE is 40 percent-owned and managed by Deutsche Telekom, with the state holding a 10 percent stake.

The state has the right under the shareholders’ agreement to appoint five members of the 11-member board as well as having the final say over crucial management decisions.

The rest of the company is owned by private investors.

Opposition lawmakers had accused the government of planning to sell the OTE shares at a time when stock market prices are very low but Parliament on Tuesday approved an amendment to the OTE shareholders’ agreement, stipulating that any further changes would no longer need its approval.

OTE, which also operates in Romania and Albania, is Greece’s second biggest listed company with a market value of 4 billion euros.

A 5 percent stake in the group could bring in some 200 million euros to the state’s coffers.