Mediterranean Nautilus, the first mediterranean datacom project launched by Telecom Italia, expands into Greece through the acquisition of a 5% strategic participation in FORTHnet, the country´s leading player in wireline voice, wireline data and internet based solution services.
The operation is valued at around 9.6 million Euro. The stake was acquired from the founding shareholders of Forthnet: Minoan Lines S.A. (26,6%), the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (25%) and the Cyprus Development Bank Ltd (11,2%), which transferred the shares on a pro-rata basis according to their shareholding.
The entrance, via Forthnet, into the Greek telecommunications market, in view of its deregulation on January 2001, further enhances the ?editerranean Nautilus business model, which is based on the implementation of ISP and ASP initiatives in the Mediterranean basin countries, which are linked across by a submarine fibre cable.
The financial advisor to Telecom Italia is Chase Manhattan Plc, while the Corporate Finance team of Egnatia Securities S.A. is advising Forthnet.
The co-operation between the two parties commenced recently through the setting up of "Mediterranean Broadband Access" in which Telecom Italia owns a 60% stake and Forthnet 40%. The Company is currently participating in an auction for wireless local loop licenses in Greece.