GO plc - Forthnet shows interest in Wind Hellas

On 2 October, Forthnet S.A. (the Greek telecoms company in which GO and its parent company Emirates International Telecommunications Limited hold a 37.1% equity stake) announced that it has submitted an expression of interest in WIND Hellas Telecommunications S.A, a mobile, fixed line and broadband operator in Greece. However Forthnet did not disclose the terms of the non-binding offer.

In its half-year report, WIND Hellas announced that revenues fell by 10.8% to €545.1 million with losses widening to €114.2 million from €74.2 million in the first half of 2008. Moreover the results show that the company is highly indebted and does not have the necessary liquidity to pay its debt interest of €67 million due on 15 October. As a result, WIND Hellas initiated talks with its largest shareholder, Weather Investments, and its creditors to discuss the restructuring of its capital which may also include a capital injection from a new strategic investor. In this respect, WIND Hellas confirmed today that it has received a number of offers from strategic and financial investors.

In the announcement filed by Forthnet on the Athens Stock Exchange, it was stated that the submission of an expression of interest on 2 October ‘does not mean that there will be a binding offer if the non-binding one is accepted.’ Moreover Forthnet assured its shareholders that it will pursue the acquisition of WIND Hellas ‘only if it finally judges that the said transaction will be to the benefit of both the Company and its shareholders’. Forthnet stated that it will duly inform investors on any material development in due course.

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