Matáv tipped to buy Telecom Montenegro

2 Jun 2004

Hungarian national PTO Mátav is being linked with the possible acquisition of Telecom Montenegro, with local sources suggesting that the move could form part of a bigger international expansion plan as the former Hungarian monopoly seeks to counteract the negative effects of slack growth in its domestic fixed line market, liberalised at the end of 2001. According to reports in the newspaper Vijesti, Mátav officials have visited the capital Podgorica twice to discuss options for buying the majority state-owned telco. The government currently owns 89% of Telecom Montenegro, which reported close to 195,000 fixed lines in service at the end of 2002, with the remaining shares in the hands of employees. However, the telco is seen as small fry, representing just 4% of Mátav’s annual revenues, and many believe the principal target could be Telecom Serbia.