Carlos Slim in line for Telekom Serbia – report

Carlos Slim in line for Telekom Srbija – report

03 JUN 2013

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has apparently emerged as a potential buyer for state-owned Telekom Srbija as the government looks to address budget shortfalls, according to Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti.

According to “officials” quoted in the report, the asking price for full ownership of Telekom Srbija is in the region of €2.5 billion. That would give the government around €1.95 billion for its 78.11 per cent stake.

Slim, whose telecoms empire includes America Movil and minority stakes in two European operators – Telekom Austria and KPN – is reportedly a front-runner to make a bid. Unnamed operators from the Middle East are also believed to be in the frame.

Nenad Gujanicic, a financial expert quoted in the report, reckons the €2.5 billion asking price is too high.

“My guess is that it would be difficult to get more than €2 billion,” he said. “It is reasonable to expect that the price of the entire company to between €1.5 billion and €2 billion euros.

There has been speculation surrounding a Telekom Srbija sale for some time.

Two years ago, the Serbian government declined an offer from Telekom Austria for the 51 per cent stake that was then up for grabs, because it did not meet its minimum price of €1.4 billion. Telekom Austria, the only bidder for the 51 per cent stake, offered €1.1 billion

According to the latest figures from Wireless Intelligence, Telekom Srbija’s mobile operations are the largest in the country in terms of subscribers.

By end October 2012, the incumbent had 5.5 million mobile subscribers, followed by Norway’s Telenor (3.2 million) and Telekom Austria’s Vip (1.8 million).

Author

Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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