Vodafone bids to secure full ownership of Hellas Online – Mobile World Live

Vodafone bids to secure full ownership of Hellas Online

05 DEC 2014

Vodafone Greece has offered to acquire the stake in fixed telephony and broadband player Hellas Online that it was not able to secure in a deal closed at the end of November, in an effort to secure 100 per cent ownership.

Vodafone-Panafon (the name under which it trades in Greece) submitted a mandatory offer to acquire the remaining 8.8 per cent stake in Hellas Online, offering the equivalent of €0.563 per share.

The acquisition of a 72.7 per cent stake in Hellas Online by Vodafone was completed on 25 November, for a total cash consideration of €72.7 million, and took its ownership to 91.2 per cent.

This valued the fully diluted equity of Hellas at €100 million, which is equivalent to an enterprise value of €311 million, once €211 million of adjusted debt held by Hellas is taken into account.

The Hellas acquisition, which was signed in August, is part of Vodafone Group’s efforts to expand its fixed presence in Europe to enable it to offer bundled products and services to consumers.

The biggest deal in the strategy so far was last year’s €7.7 billion acquisition of cable company Kabel Deutschland in Germany, for which it defeated a rival bid from Liberty Global.

In addition Vodafone acquired Spanish cable service provider Ono for €7.2 billion in March this year and reached a fibre-sharing agreement with rival Portugal Telecom in July.

Just this week Vodafone Group has been linked with a bid for international cable player Liberty Global, owner of Virgin Media in the UK.

The speculation came about after UK telecoms giant BT announced it was in talks with both EE and O2 about a potential acquisition of one of the mobile network operators.

Such a deal would enable BT to have a full quadplay offering of fixed and mobile voice, broadband and pay-TV, meaning Vodafone could be tempted to bolster its offerings with the addition of Virgin Media.

However, Vodafone has since played down the possibility of making a bid for Liberty.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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