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Vodafone gains from phone float

PANAFON Hellenic Telecom, the Greek mobile phone company in which Britain's Vodafone has a 55 per cent stake, is to offer 15 per cent of its equity to global investors in a move which values Greece's largest mobile phone company at around pounds 2.5bn. The equity is being sold by France Telecom, which is reducing its holding from 35 per cent to 20 per cent. Vodafone is not selling any of its stake. Panafon is Greece's largest mobile telephone company, with just over half of the Greek mobile phone market.

There will be three elements to the share offering; a global institutional offering, a public subscription offer in Greece and an employee offering. Warburg Dillon Read is co-ordinating the sale.

The news co-incided with Panafon's half-year results yesterday, which showed income before tax up 62.3 per cent to 26.7bn Greek drachma (pounds 58.4m)in the six months to the end of June on consolidated revenues up 60.7 per cent at Dr89.3bn.