Slovenia’s privatisation regulator SDH officially closed the sale process for the government’s 72.75 per cent stake in Telekom Slovenije, after sole bidder Cinven pulled out of negotiations to acquire the operator.
In a statement released by SDH, the regulator cites a letter it received from Cinven confirming it did not wish to continue with negotiations, stating “the transaction is no longer economically feasible”, after initially having a bid accepted for the operator in June, valuing the whole company at approximately €850 million.
The deal broke down after Cinven revised its offer at the eleventh hour, adding conditions that allowed it to hold back part of the purchase price until a separate deal for Telekom Slovenije’s divestment in Macedonia was approved, which Slovenia rejected.
Cinven however maintained it was still interested in the deal, after Macedonia approved the sale.
SDH said yesterday Cinven had assessed recent measures taken by the country’s telecoms regulator indicating “that the regulatory environment will not be investment friendly for Telekom Slovenije”.
Cinven’s decision was also influenced by recent modifications in the EU-wide regulations in regards to international roaming and “changes in the operation of Telekom Slovenije which will not have positive impact on the company’s performance results”.
According to Reuters, negotiations have been further complicated as the company faces the risk of court cases for allegedly abusing its market position.
“One of the main reasons Cinven’s withdrawing from the negotiations, as mentioned by Cinven, refers to the highly uncertain business environment in which Telekom Slovenije operates, highlighting the complex nature of the political environment in the country,” said the SDH statement.
SDH added it is now considering its options over managing the assets of the operator.
In a separate development, Telekom Slovenije is reportedly one of a number of parties to submit a non-binding offer to acquire a 58 per cent stake in Telekom Srbija.
Serbia’s government said this week it would decide which companies will be invited to take part in the next stage of bidding for the operator after 17 August.
Other reported interested parties include Telekom Austria and Deutsche Telekom.