Greek newspaper Imerisia writes that following months of negotiations, UK-backed Vodafone Greece is close to agreeing a majority buyout of alternative triple-play broadband operator Hellas Online (HOL), with a finalised deal possible as early as the end of this month, the paper claims. Vodafone is aiming to increase its 18.5% stake in HOL by purchasing shares held by Greek IT group Intracom (57.25%) and Luxembourg-based World Equities Investments Holding (17.9%) to take full control of the altnet with a stake of above 93% (at a cost roughly estimated at EUR80 million [USD108 million] in the report). If successful, Vodafone would seek to delist HOL from the Athens Stock Exchange, but might also look to achieve a merger with another Greek telco, ForthNet, which the British group is currently vying to take overall control of in partnership with a further Greek rival, Wind Hellas.
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