Lattelecom privatisation likely to be delayed

5 Nov 2007

Thomson Financial is reporting that the Latvian government is unlikely to announce its final decision on the sale of the state’s stakes in fixed line incumbent Lattelecom and its wireless sister company Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), as originally planned for tomorrow. Citing local newspaper Diena, Thomson writes that the decision on whether to accept a proposal made by Lattelecom CEO Nils Muiznieks that would see US investment fund Blackstone Group become the majority owner of the company, while the government and Lattelecom employees would control less than 8% in the company, has been delayed by numerous changes to the Latvian government. According to an agreement reached earlier this year, management and employees of Lattelecom will acquire 100% of the company using finance from the private equity group. At present TeliaSonera holds 49% of Lattelecom, with the Latvian state controlling the remainder. In exchange for its Lattelecom shares TeliaSonera will acquire the outstanding equity on LMT.