DT deal good for Greece, says OTE

The head of OTE said the possible entry of Deutsche Telekom (DT) into the Greek telecom operator will benefit the country and help the company prepare for an increasingly competitive environment. Last month, DT agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in OTE, Greece’s biggest telephone company, from Marfin Investment Group for 2.5 billion euros. The deal is conditional on Greek government approval for DT to raise its stake and get management control. OTE CEO Panagis Vourloumis wrote in Sunday’s Kathimerini that the deal is at risk of sinking despite it being good for the country and the company. «The entry of DT with a significant stake in OTE does not weaken the government’s position but strengthens it,» the article says. «It secures government control over issues which really matter, leaving operations in the hands of an experienced telecoms company,» adds Vourloumis. The CEO was responding to press reports claiming that the government will be pushed to one side because of the deal that will involve handing over control of the company to DT. The state owns 28 percent of OTE and is the company’s biggest shareholder. «Today’s competition is intense and there is no luxury for making mistakes. With DT, there is an opportunity to forge a modern, professional management, while permanently safeguarding the public interest,» Vourloumis adds.

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