Slovenia is unlikely to reach a decision over the sale of state-owned Telekom Slovenije until at least the beginning of September, according to a government official.
Long running negotiations between Slovenian privatisation coordinator SDH and British private equity group and sole bidder Cinven broke down last month, when the deal looked to be nearing completion.
Cinven filed an amendment to an accepted bid of up to $850 million at the eleventh hour, reducing its offer because Telekom Slovenije’s sale of its Macedonian subsidiary to Telekom Austria had not been approved by regulators, which led to a u-turn by the Slovenian government.
According to Reuters, talks have now resumed between both parties, after Macedonia approved the sale earlier this month.
Speaking to local news agency STA, state secretary at Slovenia’s finance ministry, Metod Dragonja, confirmed that Cinven remains the sole bidder for the entity, but a decision will not be reached until after the summer holidays, which officially ends in Slovenia on 1 September.
Cinven maintained it was still interested in acquiring the operator after the rebuff, stating it would wait until the future of the company’s Macedonian subsidiary was clearer before potentially revising its offer.
Its first approach for the company dates back to April this year, and it was forced to increase its bid after Slovenian politicians claimed the state was selling the company too cheaply.
Telekom Slovenije is one of 15 companies earmarked for privatisation by the state in 2013. So far, five have been sold.
In a separate development, local newspaper Finance claims Telekom Slovenije’s management reached an agreement with trade unions to cut the company’s workforce from 2,700 to 1,900 by the end of 2018 in a bid to cut costs.