Tactical battle looms for Telecom Srbija

Telekom Austria is lining up a tactical bid for Serbian operator Telecom Srbija to prevent rival Deutsche Telekom taking the firm over.
The Austrian incumbent will enter a bid below the €1.4 million price tag Serbia’s government has placed on its national telco, in a bid to maintain some presence in the company and prevent it entering talks with Deutsche Telekom.
A tender to take over the Serbian operator is due to close today, and is likely to see the German incumbent make an offer, Austrian newspaper Wirtschafts Blatt reports. The move would increase Deutsche Telekom’s current indirect 20% stake in Telecom Srbija, owned through a holding in Greek carrier OTE.
However unions have already expressed their opposition to any sale, due to fears it will result in lay-offs among Telecom Srbija’s 14,500 staff. They also claimed the deal will also result in higher prices for consumers, in a letter delivered to Serbia’s government, Balkans.com reports.