Hellenic Open Fiber (HOF), a subsidiary of Nova-Wind, a member of the United Group, the leading telecommunications and media provider in Southeastern Europe, is raising €80 million of capital under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, "Greece 2.0", with funding from the European Union - NextGenerationEU, through a loan agreement signed on Monday, July 25, with Eurobank and National Bank of Greece.
The signing of the loan agreement took place in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Panagiotis Georgiopoulos, the Deputy CEO and Head of Corporate & Investment Banking of Eurobank, Mr. Konstantinos Vasileiou and the General Manager of Corporate and Investment Banking of National Bank, Mr. Vassilis Karamouzis.
The loan has a 10-year maturity and will finance an investment project totalling €100 million. In particular, HOF, which aims to develop next generation networks, will use the resources of the loan agreement to accelerate the deployment of fibre to the home networks nationwide. Of the EUR 80 million to be received by Hellenic Open Fiber, a subsidiary of Nova-Wind, EUR 50 million will come from the Recovery and Resilience Fund and EUR 30 million from Eurobank and National Bank of Greece (in the amount of 70% and 30% respectively). The remaining EUR 20 million needed for the implementation of the investment project will be covered by HOF's own funds.
Hellenic Open Fiber is the first company in the digital investment sector to apply for a loan agreement with the Recovery Fund in February 2022. The funds will ensure additional liquidity for an extensive investment plan of Nova - WIND for the development of digital technologies and next generation networks, highlighting the company as a strategic partner of the National Plan for the recovery and digital transformation of the country, while at the same time boosting the green transition and the development of the Greek region.
Nova-Wind's total investment in new generation technologies is set to exceed EUR 1.3 billion by 2026, mainly for the expansion of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network and national coverage of the 5G network, changing the fixed, mobile and internet markets and upgrading its customers' TV experience through EON content - the leading pay-TV platform in South East Europe.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr.Theo Skylakakis, said: "Today, another loan agreement is signed, within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan "Greece 2.0", for the implementation of a major investment in the field of digital technologies and next generation networks. By raising EUR 80 million, Hellenic Open Fiber (HOF), a subsidiary of Nova-Wind, will be able to accelerate the deployment of the Fiber to the Home network nationwide. The favourable conditions provided for in the loan component of 'Greece 2.0' have sharply increased the interest of investors in its exploitation. The implementation of quality investments in key sectors of the economy contributes catalytically to the achievement of the national target for sustainable growth".
The Governor of the Special Coordination Service of the Recovery Fund, Mr: "The signing of today's loan agreement, with resources also from the Recovery Fund, marks the start of a second major digital investment in the deployment of fibre to the home (FTTH) connections, leveraging the Recovery Fund. The loan component of the Recovery Fund has started, dynamically, with the participation of the banking system, to substantially strengthen the productive Greek economy."
The CEO of Nova - Wind, Mr. Panagiotis Georgiopoulos, noted: "The financing, using loan capital from the Hellenic Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, enables us to accelerate our investment plan to develop our fibre to the home (FTTH) network. Nova - Wind is an infrastructure investor and has a long-term horizon. Today's agreement reflects exactly that, our commitment to building next-generation infrastructure that will accelerate the digital transformation of our country, ensuring access to technology for all our citizens."
For his part, the Deputy CEO and Head of Corporate & Investment Banking of Eurobank, Mr. Konstantinos Vassiliou, said: "The signing of the contract with Hellenic Open Fiber, a subsidiary of WIND, marks the inclusion of one of the largest digital switchover investments, amounting to approximately EUR 100 million, in the Recovery and Resilience Fund programme. Through the deployment of fibre optic networks, the project will contribute substantially to the upgrade of existing broadband infrastructure, while offering multiplier benefits to the country's economy. At Eurobank, we are particularly pleased and honoured to play a role in the project, which represents the largest financing by a Greek commercial bank to date under the TAA, with a 70% share of the bank financing scheme of the investment. The above highlights our strategic priority to offer integrated solutions to our clients to make the most of the significant funds of the Greece 2.0 Plan through sound and sustainable investment plans."
The General Manager of Corporate & Investment Banking of National Bank of Greece, Mr: "With the active participation of the National Bank of Greece, the structuring and approval of a total financing of EUR 100 million for the implementation of an important investment of the Nova-Wind Hellas Group, crucial for the country's Digital Transition, was successfully completed. Hellenic Open Fiber's new state-of-the-art fibre optic network creates technical preconditions for broadband access to high-speed Internet, contributing to the symmetrical upgrade of Infrastructure and Interconnectivity of an extensive number of areas across the country. With the collaboration of our Structured Financing unit specializing in Infrastructure & Networks financing and our designated National 2.0 unit for the inclusion of investments in the Recovery & Resilience Fund, a 50% share of the above financing package will come from mobilization of Fund resources. The transaction is a "model transaction" for the Digital Transition Pillar of the Fund, highlighting the role of the National Bank in realizing the National Recovery Plan."