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Wind Hellas to merge with Tellas February 26, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Telecoms.
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Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris has three main priorities in Greece.

The first is to acquire a small local bank that will assist cell-phone network Wind Hellas to develop mobile banking applications; the second is the installation of an underwater cable to link Greece with Egypt; and the third is the incorporation of alternative land-line service provider Tellas into Wind Hellas, a process that has presented more problems than originally foreseen.

Sawiris recently told Greek journalists, “We are negotiating with a small-sized bank in Greece so that, combined with our investment in telecommunications and particularly in cellular telephony through Wind, we can develop mobile banking services.” He avoided giving the name of the bank, but noted that negotiations may be completed soon. Possible acquisition candidates are Aspis Bank and Millennium Bank. He indirectly rejected the possibility of a buyout of Geniki Bank, which belongs to France’s Societe Generale.

On the underwater cable, he said it is a $200 million investment, estimated to be complete by mid-2009, with his company having already secured a license from the Egyptian government.

Sawiris also stated that Tellas is a strategic asset, but has not garnered any returns yet. The merger with will proceed, but Tellas will maintain its separate status and name. He added that parent company Weather Investment has become one of the biggest telecom groups, with about 100 million customers in its 10 years of operation.

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