Greek telecom OTE sells sole satellite to Arab group

February 08, 2013 - 12:48:32 pm
ATHENS: Greece's main telecom provider OTE has sold a majority stake in the country's sole satellite operator Hellas Sat to Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat, the group has announced.

OTE, controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, will raise 208 million euros ($284 million) from a 99.05-percent stake in Hellas Sat in addition to another 7.0 million euros in dividends, the company said.

The satellite HellasSat2 had been jointly launched by Greece and Cyprus in 2003 and has more than 100 clients in 26 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"We have achieved an important agreement," OTE chairman and chief executive Michael Tsamaz said.

"The Greek and Cypriot states will acquire a reliable investor who has the resources to make the necessary investments," he said.

Hellas SAT earned 31 million in 2012.

Tsamaz said the deal, which is expected to be concluded in the second quarter of the year, would "safeguard the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus in space".

Greek state aerospace company EAV, which is one of the minority shareholders of Hellas Sat and is up for privatisation, would remain on board and retain preferential rights, OTE said.

ArabSat is the main provider of satellite services in the Middle East and Africa and ranks among leading sector players globally, OTE said. (AFP)