State moots sale date for Cesky stake

15 Sep 2004

The government of the Czech Republic will sell its 51% stake in dominant wireline operator Cesky Telecom in March 2005, according to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Information Technologies. In preparation for the sale the government recently announced plans to form a privatisation commission, and also asked a group of advisers including Credit Suisse First Boston and Ceska Sporitelna (a unit of Austria’s Erste Bank) to begin formally seeking potential bidders. According to Dow Jones, the advisers will assess three options: a direct sale to a strategic or financial investor; a stock market flotation; or a combination of the two. The sale is expected to generate in the region of CZK60 billion (USD2.3 billion) for the state.