Greek telecom OTE sells satellite unit to Arabsat

ATHENS Thu Feb 7, 2013 1:33pm EST

ATHENS Feb 7 (Reuters) - Greece's biggest telecoms operator OTE said on Thursday it agreed to sell its satellite unit Hellas SAT to Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat for 208 million euros as part of measures to cut its debt.

OTE, managed and partly-owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom , has been cutting costs and selling assets to cope with its debt load amid a severe austerity-fuelled recession in its two biggest markets, Greece and Romania.

"We achieved a significant agreement," said OTE's Chief Executive Michael Tsamaz in a statement adding that the value of the deal was "satisfying".

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, OTE said in a statement.

Standard and Poor's on Monday upgraded OTE's credit rating after the company sold 700 million euros ($937 million)of new bonds on Jan.30, in a sign of debt markets gradually opening for the cash-strapped country's firms.

OTE has also said it plans to sell its Bulgarian unit Globul, but sources have said that it might reconsider the sale after the successful bond issue last month. ($1 = 0.7469 euros) (Reporting by Harry Papachristou, editing by William Hardy)

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