Greek operator COSMOTE has raised €300 million to fund investment in next generation network infrastructure

COSMOTE, a 100% subsidiary of OTE, has signed a €150 million bilateral term loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and an agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to raise a further €150 million as a syndicated facility. Both loans are under the corporate guarantee of OTE.

The funds will be used to enable mobile broadband network coverage and capacity expansion investments in Greece. The loan from EIB is provided under the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which has previously launched a €500m broadband fund. Both domestic and international banks participated in the EBRD syndicated loan.

OTE Group chairman and CEO, Mr. Michael Tsamaz, said: “We are far and away the largest investor in telecommunications in Greece, having invested over €2 billion in the past six years and committed to another €1.5 billion by 2020, to establish optical fibre and 4G/4G+ networks. Next generation networks are not a luxury.”

Operators across Europe are being encouraged to innovate and prepare for the roll-out of 5G. Italtel in Italy has been awarded EU funding to advance 5G and the UK government has formally launched a £400 million fund to support fibre backhaul for 5G, among other initiatives.

Nicholas Jennett, EIB deputy director general and head of the Investment Team for Greece, added: “The EIB is committed to helping high quality, innovative Greek companies to realize their investment plans. We are pleased to be working with COSMOTE to enhance the company’s already extensive network. This is precisely the kind of operation the Investment Plan for Europe was designed to support. I am delighted about this further step to bring the benefits of the European Fund for Strategic Investments to Greece."
Dirk Werner, EBRD director for Information and Communication Technologies, said: “This innovative transaction with such a notable green component is a priority for the EBRD in Greece. We are delighted to support a project that will boost energy efficiency standards, the local economy and Greece’s telecoms sector as a whole.”