Dubai Holding's EIT ups stake in Greek broadband firm

New investment means EIT has paid $300mn for 34% of publicly-listed Forthnet's shares.

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By  James Exelby Published  September 27, 2008

Dubai Holding unit Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT) and Malta-based affilate GO have increased their stake in Greece’s broadband operator Forthnet to 34 percent from 21 percent, the company said on Saturday.

The move takes the total investment in Forthnet to 1.1 billion dirhams ($300 million) and was made through their special purpose joint venture Forgendo, EIT said in a statement

GO is 60-percent owned by EIT.

The initial investment earlier this year allowed Forthnet to purchase NetMed, which owns the NOVA brands in Greece and Cyprus, the only premium pay TV operators in their respective markets, EIT added.

"By increasing our total stake to 34 percent, we are well positioned for strong growth in both broadband and pay-TV. This allows Forthnet to make unique and attractive triple pay offers in the Greek market," Deepak Padmanabhan, EIT's chief executive, said.

Forthnet is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange and describes itself as the largest alternative telephony, internet and video operator in the Greek market.

EIT, a fully-owned subsidiary of state-owned Dubai Holding, was founded in 2006.

It manages four telecom investments including Tunisie Telecom, the largest provider of telecommunication networks and services in Tunisia, GO plc, Malta’s only quadruple-play operator (offering mobile, data, fixed and TV services), Interoute, which operates a Next Generation Network (NGN) across Europe, and Forthnet and NetMed in Greece.

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