Vodafone and Wind to bid for Forthnet

Wind Hellas head Nassos Zarkalis said on Wednesday that the due diligence of rival telecommunications company Forthnet will soon be completed and a joint binding bid by Wind and Vodafone for the country’s main alternative telecom supplier will come after the Christmas holidays.

The chairman and chief executive of Wind added that while Forthnet’s case has indeed been delayed, that is not on account of interested buyers Wind and Vodafone. He added that the strategy drafted in cooperation with Vodafone for the acquisition of Forthnet on a 50-50 basis remains intact as the market demands further concentration.

Zarkalis also noted that Vodafone has not yet exercised its right to acquire Wind-owned Forthnet shares amounting to a 13.25 percent, to take Vodafone’s holding to 19.5 percent from its current 6.25 percent.

Rival telecom firm OTE, Greece’s main market player, is not expected to table its own bid for the pay-TV arm of Forthnet (Nova) before January, in order to see what course political developments in the country take first.

Market observers attribute the delay in developments at Forthnet to its Arab owners, who hold a 44 percent stake.