‘No comment’ on Romania €1bn deal rumour

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Reports from Bucharest say OTE may sell Telekom Romania but OTE and potential purchaser Orange refuse to comment

Orange and Greek operator OTE are refusing to confirm or deny a report in a Romanian financial newspaper that Telekom Romania is up for sale.

The report says Orange is talking about acquiring the fixed network, while cable operator RCS-RDS is considering buying the mobile business. The total price could exceed €1 billion, says Mîrşanu, a Romanian business publication.

Telekom Romania – formerly Cosmorom and Romtelekom – is owned by OTE, whose biggest shareholder is Deutsche Telekom, with the Romanian state having a minority stake. Telekom Romania says that it is part of the Deutsche Telekom group, and the operation has been part of the German operator's Europe-wide virtualisation project, Pan-Net.

Mîrşanu says that the Romanian company’s latest results show revenues in nine months of €718 million but debts are around €1 billion.

An executive from OTE in Athens refused to comment to Global Telecoms Business: “No, we generally don’t comment on speculations.” A similar reaction came from Orange in Paris: “We saw this but, as usual, we’re not commenting on market rumours,” said an executive. Deutsche Telekom said: "In general we do not comment on various market and/or media speculations." 

Orange already has a mobile business in Romania, where it competes with Vodafone. In 2015 it agreed with Telekom Romania that it could have wholesale access to its fixed network, allowing it to offer fixed voice and data services. RCS-RDS provides mobile services via Vodafone.