Greek telco OTE has extended by one month the deadline for bids in the proposed sale of its Bulgarian mobile subsidiary, Cosmo Bulgaria (GloBul), with the cut-off date now 18 April 2013. The reason given for the extension is that some prospective buyers needed additional time to prepare requisite documentation. The sale was originally proposed to help OTE refinance debt, although at the beginning of this month the Greek firm’s CEO Michael Tsamaz hinted that GloBul might be kept within the group’s Cosmote mobile division after all, as the pressure to raise funds had been lessened by gaining new financing from international markets to pay dues in 2013/2014. CommsUpdate reported in early February that OTE’s successful issuing of EUR700 million (USD950 million) in new bonds led to credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s upgrading the company from B- to B+, while GloBul secured a EUR153 million syndicated loan in late-December 2012. While Tsamaz said that the GloBul sale process was continuing, he added that it was necessary to ‘reconsider the situation’ with shareholders’ best interests in mind. Prospective buyers linked to the deal include two Turkish operators, Turk Telekom and Turkcell, Norway’s Telenor, and OTE’s 40%-owner Deutsche Telekom (although it has been supposed that the German parent is involved mainly to encourage serious offers from the other players).
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