Slovenia says expects to decide on Telekom sale in 2 weeks

Slovenia said it expects to decide on the sale of a majority stake in Telekom Slovenia within two weeks, after it received an improved and final offer from private equity investment fund Cinven.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters said Cinven had raised its offer to €130 ($145) per share, which would value the state-controlled company at €850 million ($943 million). The investment fund is the sole bidder for a 72.75 per cent stake in the operator.

Reuters added that Cinven is understood to have raised its offer in an attempt to win over Slovenian authorities facing criticism they could be selling the stake too cheaply.

It had previously been speculated that the sale of the government's majority stake would be shelved after just one binding offer had been received by the deadline of Apr. 13. Analysts told Reuters they believed that the government had expected to achieve a valuation of about €1 billion.

In a statement on Thursday, state investment fund SDH said it had still not completed its investigation into the sale of a majority stake in the operator.

"In line with the complexity of the procedure SDH will hopefully decide on the sale within two weeks," SDH said.

Telekom Slovenia competes with Telekom Austria's Si.mobil, Tušmobil and T-2 on the mobile market. Cable operator Telemach completed the acquisition of Tušmobil at the beginning of April. Telekom Austria also recently announced a reorganisation of its regional management in South East Europe: the company plans to merge its Serbian and Slovenian businesses into one unit, with Croatia and Macedonia forming a separate second division.

Meanwhile the events in Slovenia come days after Deutsche Telekom said it is to acquire the 49 per cent of Slovak Telekom it does not already own for €900 million, confirming previous reports that it was the sole bidder for the government-owned stake.

For more:
- see this SDH statement (in Slovenian)
- see this Reuters article

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