The government of Montenegro has moved one step closer to the sale of its 51.12% stake in monopoly fixed line operator, Telekom Montenegro. The Republic’s privatisation council has approved the sale to Hungary’s Matav, which submitted a bid of EUR114 million in the government’s recent auction. The Hungarian firm is expected to get official confirmation of its successful bid within the next few days. It is planning to take full control of its new subsidiary by buying out the existing institutional and private investors for EUR51 million.
Matav, which is backed by Deutsche Telekom, beat rival bids from Mobilkom Austria, Telekom Slovenia and Telekom Srbija. It says it plans to invest EUR67.28 million in Telekom Montenegro over the next five years to improve its infrastructure and services.
Telekom Montenegro (which trades locally as Telekom Crne Gore) is the sole wireline operator in the Republic of Montenegro, which makes up the southwestern part of Serbia and Montenegro. It had around 191,000 fixed line subscribers at the end of 2004, is the Republic’s main ISP, and is also the owner of Montenegro’s second largest cellular operator, Monet, which claimed 225,000 GSM customers at the same date.