OTE wishes to officially inform the investor community about an announcement made public today by its major shareholder, the Greek Government, regarding the reduction of its stake in OTE below 51%, which reads as follows:MINISTRY NATIONAL ECONOMY
? A meeting regarding OTE took place today at the Ministry of National Economy with the participation of the Minister of National Economy, Mr. Yannos Papantoniou, and the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Christos Verelis. The General Secretary of the Ministry of National Economy, Mr. Spyros Travlos, the Chairman of OTE, Mr. Nikos Manassis, as well as the Governmentís advisers, Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS Warburg, also participated.At this meeting it was decided that the Hellenic Republic will reduce its participation in the share capital of OTE by approximately 15% with the objective of enhancing the flexibility and competitiveness of OTE and facilitating its swift transition to the deregulated environment. This development should benefit OTEís customers and shareholders, further accelerating its modernization.OTE remains open to a strategic alliance, which would increase its competitiveness in the context of the continuing consolidation of the international telecommunications market.In accordance with the proposals made by the Governmentís advisers, the proposed disposal of the 15% shareholding shall be effected through a combination of (i) an exchangeable bond and (ii) a structured disposal to certain banking institutions, who shall retain the shares with the medium term objective of placing them with investors, given satisfactory market conditions. The combination of these initiatives will lead to a proportionate reduction in the Hellenic Republicís representation in OTEís General Assembly.Simultaneously, OTE will continue with its share repurchase programme of up to 10% of its share capital. As approved by its General Assembly.
This proposed disposal will be accompanied by significant corporate governance amendments at OTE. In particular, the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman shall be carried our via the General Assembly, whilst the number of independent directors on OTEís Board shall increase in proportion to private investorsí participation in OTEís share capital. The later will also be elected by the General Assembly.?