€339 million syndicated EBRD loan for Greece’s OTE

By Axel  Reiserer

€339 million syndicated EBRD loan for Greece’s OTE

At the signing ceremony (l-r) OTE Group Chairman and CEO Michael Tsamaz, EBRD Managing Director, Countries of Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Banking, Jean-Marc Peterschmitt and EBRD Director, Information and Communication Technologies, Dirk Werner

Leading telecommunications company  invests in superior network and services

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €339 million syndicated loan to Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) to support the company’s investment plans.

Strengthening the resilience of the economy in the countries where it invests is one of the EBRD’s strategic priorities and the loan to OTE is expected to benefit the Greek economy, financial markets and customers.

The financing will consist of an EBRD A loan of €150 million as part of a €339 million A/B loan. The Mandated Lead Arranger on this syndicated loan is the National Bank of Greece S.A. The Lead Arrangers are HSBC Bank plc and Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd, while BNP Paribas S.A., Nomura International plc, Alpha Bank Albania, Piraeus Bank SA and Cordiant participate as Arrangers. The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) will provide an additional €50 million of financing on a parallel basis. The EBRD loan aims to support the re-opening of the syndication markets to a Greek corporate.

OTE is the leading telecommunications provider in Greece and one of the largest groups in the sector in south-eastern Europe. The funding will be used to finance a number of strategic initiatives in Greece, including the development of next-generation networks and IP networks as well as other innovative products and services.

Dirk Werner, EBRD Director, Information and Communication Technologies, noted: “We are delighted to sign this very important transaction with OTE today. It will provide the company with the means to continue its ambitious investment programme. But it is also sending a very strong signal to the market that the Greek financial market is open for business again. We hope that this will encourage other investors to take a close look at the opportunities Greek companies are offering.”

OTE Group Chairman and CEO Michael Tsamaz commented: “OTE Group, by far the largest investor in next-generation networks in Greece, brings today the technologies and networks of the future. Despite the economic crisis, with our solid strategy and bold decisions, we have maintained intact our ability to invest the substantial amounts required for new networks. For the next four years, we are implementing an ambitious €1.3 billion investment plan. Our country needs networks and telecommunications of a high standard to return to a growth track. Our cooperation with the EBRD and BSTDB highlights the developmental aspect of our investment plan, while their presence in Greece can further ignite potential in other sectors of the economy.”

The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. The Bank’s priorities are the strengthening of private companies and the financial sector, support for privatisation, infrastructure development and regional integration of the Greek economy.

The EBRD’s strategic plan for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.