Magyar still confident it can take Slovenian stake

23 May 2008

Magyar Telekom’s CEO Christopher Mattheisen has told Reuters that his firm is still interested in buying a stake in Slovenian incumbent Telekom Slovenije, despite having its bid rejected as too low in an auction for a 49% share in the PTO earlier this year. The Hungarian telco is keen to expand abroad, with the focus principally on the Balkan region. Mattheisen said, ‘Just because we were excluded in the last round doesn’t mean we’re not interested…We were interested in [Telekom Slovenije] for a reason then. If it hasn’t gone yet, we’re still interested in it, at the right price.’ Since the tender was called off in March, Reuters reports that the Slovenian telco has lost around 20% of its market capitalisation, and the government is unlikely to launch another sale attempt before parliamentary elections this autumn. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the Republic of Slovenia directly owns 62.5% of Telekom Slovenije. Funds and others (including brokerage firms and investment companies) hold around 27%, whilst around 10.5% is held by private investors. Taking into consideration the state funds KAD and SOD, the government indirectly controls around 74% of Telekom.

Slovenia, Magyar Telekom, Telekom Slovenije (incl. Mobitel)