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Telenor has placed 29.7m shares in Cosmote representing 9% of the company’s total share capital. The shares were placed at a price of â¬ 9.16 per share raising total proceeds of NOK 2.1bn, representing a financial gain of approximately NOK 1.5bn on Telenor’s original investment. Citigroup acted as bookrunner on the transaction and EFG Telesis Finance as co-lead manager and EFG Eurobank Securities acted as the local Exchange broker. After the sale of the 29.7 million shares, Telenor will retain a 9% shareholding in the company. Telenor has agreed not to sell any further shares in Cosmote for a period of up to 180 days post the placing without the prior approval of Citigroup.
The sale of our shares in Cosmote is in line with Telenor’s strategy to take control of selected mobile operations in our portfolio and to exit the positions where we do not gain control or for other reasons choose not to take control,”
said senior executive vice president of Telenor, Arve Johansen, in a comment to the sale.
Telenor acquired a stake in Cosmote in May 1997, and the company commenced commercial operation in April 1998. Today Cosmote is the leading mobile telecom operator in Greece with a 37.6 per cent market share, as of end of 2002. As of March 31, 2003 Cosmote’s customer base stood at 3.6 million. In 2002, total operating revenues for Cosmote increased by 30 per cent to â¬1,201 million while net income increased by 32 per cent to â¬230 million at the end of 2002.
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Telenor is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services. Telenor is one of Norway’s largest companies with revenues in 2002 of approx. NOK
48.8 billion and a work force of 22,100 domestically and abroad
. Telenor is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL) and Nasdaq in New York (TELN).
The business area Telenor Mobile constitutes Telenor’s main axis for internationalisation and further growth. Telenor Mobile is one of the world’s most advanced mobile operators with operations in 12 countries in Europe and Asia – including the following consolidated companies: Telenor Mobil AS, Kyivstar GSM, GrameenPhone, DiGi, Telenor Mobile Sweden and Pannon GSM. The total number of subscribers as of December 2002 was 12.4 million, based on proportionate Telenor Mobile ownership share in the companies. Based on 100 per cent figures the total subscriber base stood at 25.2 million.
This press release is for information purposes and does not constitute an
offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy shares of Cosmote in
the US or in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is
unlawful. This press release does not in any manner constitute an invitation to invest or an advertisement notification, statement or announcement soliciting investment in the shares of Cosmote. The shares referred to in this press release have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the US absent registration or an exemption from registration. No public offering of the shares is being made into the United States.