Telekom Austria has begun the chess game it hopes will net it control of Telekom Srbija, upping its offer for the carrier to €1.1 billion.
The Austrian incumbent hopes to secure a controlling 51% stake in its Serbian counterpart, but has revised its bid after the country’s finance ministry unearthed fresh value-adding assets including spectrum agreements and the potential lengthening of Telekom Srbija’s current operating license.
Telekom Austria initially tabled a bid of €800 million to €950 million, with a commitment to invest an additional €450 million over three years, however the revised offer waives the capex commitment. The original offer was lower than the €1.4 million Serbia’s government is seeking for the stake, and was seen as a tactical move to put rival Deutsche Telekom off the auction.
The acquisition would buy Telekom Austria access to three countries in the Central and Eastern Europe region, as Telekom Srbija holds stakes in operators in Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina. The Serbian carrier generated EBITDA of €483 million in 2010, on revenue of €1.1 billion.