OTE Group lined-up three buyers for individual business segments of its Telekom Romania operation, with a target of completing the sets of negations within four months, Economica reported.

The Romanian business publication sated Orange is in pole position to land the mobile segment of Telekom Romania, while a Russian investment fund led by businessman Spas Roussev is already in talks to buy the fixed proportion of the business.

Its satellite TV operation is being targeted by Digi Communications-owned rival RCS & RDS.

Although OTE Group’s largest shareholder Deutsche Telekom is apparently keen to accelerate the sale, a sticking point is said to be the debt pile attributed to the unit.

Rumours OTE Group was set to exit Romania emerged in January, shortly after the sale of its Albania unit to a Roussev-led investment company. At the time, OTE Group was said to be in talks to sell its controlling stake in Telkom Romania to Roussev, however it now appears the preferred route is to break it into business lines.

The transactions would be subject to regulatory approval. In the mobile sector, selling to Orange would reduce the number of operators to three. Combining the two bases as they stood at the end of Q1 2019 (by GSMA Intelligence connection figures) would give Orange a market share of 53 per cent.

Orange already leads the market by connections with 10 million, followed by Vodafone with 9.7 million. Telekom Romania had 4.9 million, with RCS & RDS on 3.4 million.