The Estonian National Communications Board (ENCB) has announced that it has voided its decision of 29 December 2006 to award the country’s fourth 3G licence to RealGroup Systems. According to a statement, the decision was made as a result of RealGroup’s failure to pay the promised licence fee of EEK82 million (USD). As a result the concession is now being offered to the next highest bidder, ProGroup Holdings, whose bid, at EEK71,000,100, was only just above the minimum EEK70 million.
This is the ENCB’s last chance to award the 3G concession having now offered the licence to all bidders. The tender was launched in September 2006, and two months later the regulator announced that domestic private equity firm Grosson Capital was the winner with a bid of EEK100.1 million (USD8.1 million), EEK7 million more than was offered by second-placed Renberg Investments of Russia. Within a month, however, the ENCB eliminated Grosson from the competition after it failed to come up with the licence fee, and offered the concession to Renberg, which declined. The concession was then offered to third-placed RealGroup, which accepted but then also failed to deliver the licence fee. It is now up to the fourth and only other bidder, ProGroup, to decide whether it will accept the licence.