Cinven confirms bid for Telekom Slovenia

Cinven, a private equity company, confirmed it has made a binding offer for the Slovenian government's stake in Telekom Slovenia (or Telekom Slovenije), but revealed few details as to the size of the offer.

Reuters reported earlier this week that Cinven offered €110 ($116) per Telekom Slovenia share, valuing the company at about €719 million. Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH or SDH in Slovenian) had previously said it received just one bid for a 72.75 per cent stake in the state-owned operator.

Cinven said it was unable to comment on the value offered for the government's stake in the business under the rules of the privatisation process. It added that it is "engaged in a dialogue with the SDH and their advisors to discuss its offer and is looking forward to concluding a transaction on mutually agreeable terms."

It had been speculated that the sale would be shelved after shares in Telekom Slovenia dropped almost 7 per cent on Tuesday following the news that just one binding offer had been received. However, SDH confirmed it was in the process of evaluating the binding offer received.

Cinven said its intentions for Telekom Slovenia are to invest significantly to upgrade the network, to stop the company's revenue decline, stabilise and then grow revenues sustainably for the long term in order to "restore the company's position as a Slovenian champion."

One key target is to achieve 90 per cent population coverage with the operator's LTE network. However, when this target might be achieved was not revealed.

"Telekom Slovenije is a company that Cinven can help prosper and make more competitive in the future. We intend to restore Telekom Slovenije's position in the market through significant investment. We intend to invest in the development of the company's telecommunications infrastructure and network to deliver the highest quality broadband fixed and mobile networks for Slovenian citizens and businesses," said Nicolas Paulmier, partner at Cinven.

The private equity company said it believes that Telekom Slovenia represents an attractive but challenging investment opportunity, "which fits well with Cinven's experience in the telecoms sector."

It further noted that it is able to make these investments in Telekom Slovenia because of its "considerable sector expertise and experience of investing in telecoms across Europe", where it has invested in telecoms transactions valued at over €10 billion.

For more:
- see this Cinven release

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