(Adds background, details)
ATHENS, July 1 Greek telecoms company OTE
said on Tuesday it had submitted a non-binding offer
of 250 million to 300 million euros to acquire rival Forthnet's
pay TV operations.
OTE had been in talks with the main shareholder of its small
rival Forthnet about the acquisition. The move comes weeks after
its biggest domestic rival Vodafone acquired an option
to increase its 6.5 percent stake in Forthnet to 19.75 percent.
Gaining control of Forthnet's pay-TV business Nova would
help either OTE or Vodafone boost their market share and squeeze
more revenue from customers.
"OTE's non-binding offer is within the range of 250-300
million euros on a debt-free, cash-free basis of the Nova pay TV
operations. In the event that an agreement is reached, it will
be subject to clearance from competent authorities," OTE said.
Barclays is OTE's financial adviser on the deal.
OTE, a former monopoly and currently 40-percent-owned and
managed by Deutsche Telekom, is betting on high-speed
internet and subscription television services as a way to stop
losing telephone service clients to cheaper rivals.
"OTE sees significant growth potential for Greek pay TV
services, to the benefit of consumers. The intended agreement
will be beneficial to al involved parties and is consistent with
the group's strategic priorities," OTE said.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Jason Neely and