Russia’s MTS confirmed it is bidding for the Serbian government’s 58 per cent stake in Telekom Srbija.
According to Russian news agency Tass, MTS’ CEO Andrei Dubovskov said the operator “might be interested in taking over Telekom Srbija”, before adding it would need to “analyse the deal thoroughly to see if it would be profitable for us”.
“Our interest, of course, also depends on the potential costs,” he added.
The Serbian government confirmed this week all eight bidders that submitted non-binding offers for the stake before the 2 August deadline had made it through to the next stage of the process.
Along with MTS, Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Slovenije, Bulgaria’s Vivacom, and a host of private equity firms remain in the running to acquire the stake.
The list, however does not include Telekom Austria, which was also rumoured to be interested, after a failed €1.1 billion bid back in 2011 for the operator.
This week the America Movil-backed operator reportedly ruled itself out of the process.
Serbia’s prime minister was quoted as saying the government will not sell the company if it does not receive a “significantly higher offer” than Telekom Austria’s bid four years ago.
MTS this week announced a Q2 revenue rise in its quarterly results thanks to domestic adoption of data services and a surge in handset sales, but saw profitability hit heavily by the Russian conflict in Ukraine, its second largest market.