Home > News & Views > Funds advised by Apax Partners and TPG a...

Funds advised by Apax Partners and TPG announce the sale of TIM Hellas to Weather Investments

7th February 2007

Funds advised by private equity firms Apax Partners and TPG today announce the sale of TIM Hellas Telecommunications S.A., the third largest mobile phone carrier in Greece, to Weather Investments SPA.

London, UK, 7 February 2007.  Funds advised by private equity firms Apax Partners ("Apax") and TPG today announce the sale of TIM Hellas Telecommunications S.A. ("TIM Hellas"), the third largest mobile phone carrier in Greece, to Weather Investments SPA. The sale price includes €500m of equity plus €2.9 billion of net debt at year end 2006.

Apax and TPG initially acquired TIM Hellas from Telecom Italia in June 2005 for €1.6bn. In January 2006 the consortium completed the follow-on acquisition of Q-Telecom, the fourth largest Greek mobile operator from Info-Quest S.A. for €360m.

During Apax's and TPG's period of ownership, the company was successfully turned round and set on a growth trajectory leading to a significant improvement in all financial and operating key metrics.

Giancarlo Aliberti, Managing Director, Apax Partners, Italy, who led the deal for Apax Partners, said: "This is a very pleasing result for our investors as well as the management and employees of TIM Hellas. Our knowledge of the sector gave us the confidence to embark on and support the operational turnaround that was required at TIM Hellas. Management did a great job in reversing a very serious downward trend of operational performance we found when we acquired the company. The subsequent combination of TIM Hellas with Q-Telecom contributed in a second stage to create a strong company with excellent long-term prospects." 

Philippe Costeletos, Partner of TPG, said: "TIM Hellas, which was the first buyout in Greece, demonstrates how private equity can add true value to businesses.   Working with a strong new management team, we invested in the network, products and marketing and turned around a struggling franchise.  By any standard, TIM Hellas is an industry leader."

Socrates Kominakis, CEO of TIM Hellas, said: "TIM Hellas has grown significantly in the past two years. The commitment of the company's employees and management towards executing our strategic growth plan, changed the status of the mobile market in Greece and established TIM Hellas as a key player. We will leverage on the current momentum, to continue delivering growing value and returns to our new shareholders"

Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisers to Apax and TPG.

Completion of the transaction will be subject to European Commission antitrust and local regulatory approvals.


Notes to Editors

About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups.  It operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Funds under the advice of Apax Partners total $20 billion around the world. These Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Apax Partners Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Tech & Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services.

For further information, please contact:

Ben Harding
T: +44 20 7872 6401
Email: ben.harding@apax.com

About TPG
TPG is a private investment partnership that was founded in 1992 and currently has more than $30 billion of assets under management.  With offices in San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, New York, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, Melbourne, Menlo Park, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, TPG has extensive experience with global public and private investments executed through leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, spinouts, joint ventures and restructurings.

For further information, please contact:

Owen Blicksilver
Owen Blicksilver PR, Inc.
T: +1 516 742 5950

About TIM Hellas
TIM Hellas Telecommunications SA is at the forefront of mobile communications in Greece and its brand stands for innovative products and services. TIM Hellas is the technology leader of its industry since it was the first operator to launch GSM mobile services in Greece in 1993 and also the first operator to offer its customers UMTS services as early as the beginning of 2004. TIM Hellas today offers more than 200 Value Added Services and varied tariff plans to suit the needs of the private and business market in Greece.

About Weather Investments
Weather Investments s.r.l. ("Weather") is a privately held telecommunication investment company 97% controlled by the Sawiris family and Naguib Sawiris. Weather owns 100% of Wind Telecommunicazioni spa ("Wind"), the third largest mobile operator and second largest fixed line operator in Italy. Weather also controls and owns 50% plus one share of Orascom Telecom Holding s.a.e. ("OTH"). OTH is a leading international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in seven high growth markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, having a total population under license of approximately 460 million with an average mobile telephony penetration of approximately 22% as at 30 September 2006. OTH operates GSM network in Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. OTH had over 50 million subscribers as at December 2006. OTH owns 19.3% of Hutchinson Telecommunication International, a leading telecommunication services provider operating in eight countries. OTH is traded on the Cairo and Alexandria stock exchange (ORTE.CA ORAT EY) and has GDRs traded on the London Stock Exchange (ORTEq.l, OTLD LI). www.orascomtelecom.com