Vodafone and OTE – Greece’s two leading operators – have eyes for the same pay-TV operator as both strive to flesh out quadplay strategies.
OTE submitted a €250 million-€300 million offer to smaller fixed rival Forthnet for its Nova pay-TV operations.
The move comes just weeks after Vodafone acquired an option to increase its 6.5 per cent stake in Forthnet to 19.75 per cent.
OTE, in which Deutsche Telekom holds a 40 per cent stake, has been developing its pay TV operations for the last few years and sees significant growth potential in the market.
Meanwhile Vodafone has already made some big calls across Europe in the pursuit of its own quadplay strategy with the recent €7.2 billion acquisition of Spanish cable operator Ono and last year’s €7.7 billion deal for Kabel Deutschland.
A bid for Nova would be consistent with this approach. However, the Greek firm is unlikely to carry such a hefty valuation as Ono or Kabel. After all, OTE is bidding €250 million-€300million for the whole of Nova. The offer is non-binding and on a debt free/cash free basis.
If OTE reaches agreement with Forthnet then the deal will be subject to clearance from the relevant regulatory authorities, the operator said.
OTE owns Cosmote, the country’s largest mobile operator which has 7.4 million connections (GSMA Intelligence, Q1, 2014). Nearest rival Vodafone has 4.9 million connections.