Albania to renegotiate sale of Albtelecom, papers say

12 Sep 2006

The International Herald Tribune reports that Albania will renegotiate the privatisation of state-owned telco Albtelecom with a Turkish consortium, almost a year after the sale was cancelled. The Tirana administration claims a recently completed international audit found defects in the previous contract with the Turkish Calik Enerji Telekom consortium. According to Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Ahmet Calik, the Turkish company’s main shareholder, has expressed ‘a clear will to renegotiate.’ The Albanian government selected auditors Deloitte Czech Republic to investigate the sale of a 76% stake in Albtelecom to the Turkish consortium by Albania’s former Socialist government for EUR120 million (USD152 million) in May 2005. Calik Enerji Telekom was the only party to formally enter a bid for Albtelecom, despite ten others – reportedly from Slovenia, South Korea, the US, Kuwait and Ireland, amongst others – expressing earlier interest. Albtelecom, which the government valued at about EUR145 million in January 2004, is the sole fixed line operator in Albania and holds a concession to provide wireless services via its wholly owned subsidiary Eagle Mobile, which is due to begin services in March 2007.

Albania, ALBtelecom