MIG eyes the Greek telecoms market

The listed Greek private equity fund, which last week surprised the market by announcing its intention to raise another €5bn from shareholders, has joined forces with mobile network operator WIND to seek opportunities in the Greek telecoms market.

Marfin Investment Group, the investment vehicle listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, has entered a “strategic alliance” with Marfin Popular Bank, the retail banking operation acquired by MIG in 2006, and WIND Hellas, a mobile and fixed line telephone network operator.

The alliance will allow the participants to “exploit new growth opportunities in the telecommunications and banking sector in Greece,” according to a statement, “with the potential to ultimately transform the telecoms and banking markets in the region”.

The three companies will explore several initiatives, including the launch of a business-to-business IT and communications service and the development of retail mobile banking services.

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A spokesperson for MIG told PEO that while no equity has changed hands in the formation of the partnership, it will act as a stepping stone for the investment firm to begin acquisitions in the Greek telecoms space.

“We feel comfortable that our selected path enables us to utilize fully the tremendous opportunities the market currently offers, while minimizing investment risks, especially in light of a challenging macroeconomic environment,” said MIG chief executive officer John Karakadas, in a statement.

Last week, MIG announced its intention to raise a €5 billion ($6.8 billion) war chest in order to buy undervalued Greek banks in the “consolidation round which will follow [the current market volatility]”.

MIG shot to prominence in June last year by raising the world’s largest listed fund at €5.2 billion. This fund is now around 80 percent invested.