ECONOMY

DT OTE takeover ‘unlikely’

OTE telecom, the country’s biggest phone company, has «little chance» of receiving a takeover bid from Deutsche Telekom AG in the near future, ING Groep NV said. «We think that Deutsche Telekom and the Greek state will ultimately hold similar stakes,» ING analysts, including Javier Borrachero in Madrid, wrote in a report dated April 16. In the short term, minority shareholders will not benefit from a takeover premium, «even though Deutsche Telekom may seek full control in the long run.» ING cut its share price estimate for OTE from 24 percent to 21 euros and lowered its price target for Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest phone company, from 18 percent to 12.50 euros a share. «We see OTE’s robust earnings momentum faltering due to a combination of increasing competition and a more aggressive commercial stance,» the analysts wrote. «OTE has a large exposure to emerging markets which have particularly suffered from the rising aversion to risk.» Last month, Deutsche Telekom agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in OTE from Marfin Investment Group for 2.5 billion euros. The deal is conditional on Greek government approval for Deutsche Telekom to buy more shares and get management control. (Bloomberg)