Sawiris eyes media, banks

Egyptian billionaire and Orascom Telecom Chairman Naguib Sawiris said yesterday he was interested in expanding his interests in Greece beyond the telecoms sector. «We have expressed our interest in further investments in Greece, such as in the media and banking sectors,» Sawiris told reporters after meeting with Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis in Athens. Sawiris’s Weather Investments group already controls Greece’s second-largest telecoms company, Tellas, with a stake of 50 percent plus one share and has offered to buy its remaining shares. Greek power utility Public Power Corporation (PPC), which is controlled by the government, owns the remaining shares but has yet to say whether it is interested in selling the stake. Sawiris, who also owns Greece’s third-largest mobile phone operator Wind Hellas, informed Alogoskoufis of an offer to buy out the remainder of Tellas for 100 million euros ($136.5 million), a Finance Ministry official said. No further details were given. If the acquisition is agreed upon, Sawiris has said he plans to combine Wind Hellas and Tellas and then expand their fixed-line and broadband services. However, during the launching of Wind Hellas last month, he said he was not optimistic of the outcome of his bid for full control of Tellas. (Reuters, Kathimerini)

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