Wind Hellas weighs up sale of assets

Wind Hellas Telecommunications, the country’s third-largest wireless operator, is considering selling assets in a bid to restructure up to 3 billion euros of debt. The company’s financial adviser has contacted strategic and financial investors about acquiring assets of Hellas Telecommunications II SARL, Wind Hellas and Hellas IV shares and inter-company debt, according to the company. Dow Jones Newswires was reporting yesterday that private equity firms TPG and Apax Partners are considering putting new cash into Wind Hellas. Hellas II anticipates seeking expressions of interest from interested parties during the week starting September 21, the company added. Athens-based Wind Hellas is controlled by Weather Investments SpA, which is majority-owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. It was downgraded two steps to CC, 10 levels below investment grade, by Standard & Poor’s recently after the company said it was consulting shareholders about changing the group’s capital structure. Wind Hellas moved Hellas II’s head office to London from Luxembourg last month. Credit analysts have speculated that the move was so the company can take advantage of UK insolvency laws and restructure its debt using a scheme of arrangement. A scheme of arrangement is a legal proceeding which allows a restructuring to take place with the consent of 75 percent of the company’s creditors and not the traditional 100 percent.