Deutsche Telekom may buy Bulgaria's Globul to help OTE

Deutsche Telekom said it would consider the acquisition of Bulgarian mobile operator Globul to help Greek operator OTE reduce its debt mountain of €4.9 billion.

Deutsche Telekom CFO Timotheus Hoettges said "of course we could" when asked at a press conference whether the German operator may buy Globul from OTE, according to Bloomberg.  

The German operator, which owns a 40 per cent stake in OTE, has already made several write-downs on the Greek operator, which is suffering from the impact of the economic downturn in its home market. According to the Bloomberg report, the German operator has spent €4 billion on OTE shares since 2008, and has since written down €2.6 billion on their value.

Reuters reported that OTE was able to report a 68 per cent increase in second-quarter profits following cost cuts. However, OTE is expecting the generally weak economic conditions in Greece to adversely affect its performance in the second half of the year.

OTE said in June that it is exploring the sale of its Bulgarian assets, including Globul and electronic goods retailer Germanos Telecom Bulgaria. Globul had almost 4.4 million customers at the end of the second quarter.

Globul would be the second Bulgarian mobile operator to be sold recently, following the agreement reached with banks this week to buy fixed and mobile operator Vivacom.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article

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