Hellenic Telecom Weighs Canceling Sale of Bulgaria UnitMaria Petrakis
Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA, also known as OTE, may halt a planned sale of Globul, its Bulgarian unit, after it successfully refinanced debt, company officials said.
Executives said yesterday that the sale of the Bulgarian unit, which may draw a bid from Turkey’s biggest mobile operator, wasn’t as pressing after the company tapped international markets for financing to pay debts due this year and next.
“The problem we had for refinancing mostly has been solved,” Chief Executive Michael Tsamaz told analysts on a conference call yesterday. “So, we have to think -the process we have for Globul has not stopped, it continues. However, we have to rethink the situation and reconsider the situation and decide based on the best of the shareholders’ interest.”
The Athens-based phone operator, Greece’s second-biggest company by market value, has cut staff and sold international assets to reduce debt as Greece’s recession damps demand for its products. In January it issued 700 million euros of five-year bonds to redeem more than 1 billion euros of notes due this year and next. Demand for those notes exceeded supply, with Tsamaz calling it a “vote of confidence” in the company.