Turkish companies Sabanci Holding and Dogus Holding – without a background in the mobile industry – have shown interest in purchasing a stake in Telekom Srbija, the country’s incumbent, according to a statement by the country’s trade and telecommunications minister Rasim Ljajic (pictured).
According to Reuters, although the country has yet to invite bids for the operator, a sale is potentially attractive because Serbia has rising debt and deficit.
However, neither company has experience in telecoms. Sabanci is active in banking, insurance, energy, retail and cement. And Dogus invests in banking, insurance, automotive, construction, media and tourism in Turkey.
Previously, the Serbian incumbent has been linked to established players in the telecoms industry, such as Telekom Austria. Most recently, Carlos Slim was linked to a potential bid.
Telekom Srbija is the dominant force in the country’s mobile market.
Local media has reported that the government wants to raise €2 billion from the sale of Telekom Srbija.
The two companies have also expressed an interest in investing in Serbia’s energy and infrastructure markets.