Telekom Slovenije considers bid for Cosmofon

25 Nov 2008

Slovenian incumbent fixed line operator Telekom Slovenije is being linked with a possible bid for Macedonia’s second largest cellco by subscribers Cosmofon, Makfax reports. Telekom Slovenije has reportedly confirmed it is focused on the forthcoming sale of the Macedonian operator by its owner OTE of Greece.

The Greek parent, which owns the cellco through its mobile arm Cosmote, is looking to offload the company for between EUR250-EUR300 million (USD336-USD402 million), following Deutsche Telekom’s acquisition of a strategic stake in the Greek incumbent. The German giant also controls T-Mobile Macedonia and competition authorities recently ruled that as Cosmofon and T-Mobile collectively control more than 90% of the domestic mobile market, DT must sell one of them to avoid a monopoly situation arising. The search for a new owner will begin after the Macedonian Competition Agency releases a document stating that the agreement between DT and OTE creates a monopoly on the mobile telephony market. It is understood Cosmofon will be divested in February 2009 along with its equipment and national network. Telekom Austria, which owns Macedonia’s number three operator VIP Mobile, has also expressed an interest in acquiring the company.

Telecom Slovenije is understood to have held talks with a number of banks to secure a EUR400 million loan for the purpose of planned takeovers in the former Yugoslavian territories and southeast Europe, rumoured to include three Croatian alternative telcos: Optima Telekom, H1 Telekom and Metronet.

North Macedonia, Cosmote, H1 Telekom, ONE (incl. and Cosmofon), Optima Telekom (incl. H1 Telekom), Telekom Slovenije (incl. Mobitel)