The sale of Poland's Polkomtel looks increasingly in peril as the number of interested parties continues to drop. While the sale initially attracted strong interest,the status of the bidding remains murky at best.
Sources told Reuters that Polish media mogul Zygmunt Solorz-Zak and private equity group Apax are still in the running. As speculation swirled around which companies might bid, it remained unclear whether the consortium formed by Norway's Telenor and private equity firm Bain Capital would be in the mix. Sources told Dow Jones Newswires that the Telenor-Bain group would submit a bid.
Herbert Wirth, CEO of KGHM Polska Miedz, a major Polkomtel shareholder, refused to reveal to Reuters which companies had made bids, but insiders expected three firms to submit offers around $6.7 billion for the polish operator by this Friday's deadline.
The country's second-largest operator originally attracted widespread interest in what would have been one of the largest European telecom buyouts in years, and the largest acquisition ever in Poland.
Potential bidders are thought to have become increasingly reluctant to enter the bidding given the complex nature of Polkomtel's ownership, including the close involvement of the Polish government. Vodafone has a 24.39 per cent holding in the company and is keen to make an exit.
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