March 12, 2010 / 3:11 PM / 10 years ago

Deutsche Telekom CEO open to raising stake in OTE

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany, March 12 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) would consider raising its stake in Greek telecom group OTE (OTEr.AT), market leader in the Balkans, if debt-laden Greece decides to sell.

“We are ready to talk,” Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann said on the sidelines of a conference on Friday, adding the company would view any approach with interest. The German telecoms company bought a 25 percent stake for 3.2 billion euros ($4.41 billion) in May 2008 and later acquired another 5 percent from the Greek government.

The Greek state has a put option for a further 10 percent stake in OTE until 2011.

OTE contributed 2 billion euros to Deutsche Telekom’s core earnings last year, and saved it from a fall in revenues.

Greece is sitting on a debt mountain of 300 billion euros and is looking for ways to reduce it, which could include selling state assets. (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Nicola Leske) ($1=.7257 Euro)

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