Suck it and see: dummy bid for Telekom Srbija expected from Austrians?

21 Mar 2011

Telekom Austria will make a ‘tactical’ bid for Telekom Srbija that will not meet the tender requirements, reports Bloomberg citing local newspaper Wirtschaftsblat, which in turn quotes a person ‘familiar with the process’. According to the report, motivation for the dummy bid is to prevent bilateral talks between Deutsche Telekom and the Serbian government, and keep a foot in the door.

Bids for the 51% stake in Telekom Srbija are due to be submitted by the end of the day. In October 2010 Serbian Minister for the Economy Mladjan Dinkic was quoted in local press as saying that he hoped the sale would raise at least EUR1.4 billion (USD1.9 billion). Under the terms of the tender, bidders must have five years experience in the telecoms business, at least 20 million fixed and mobile subscribers and a market capitalisation of at least EUR3 billion. It remains unclear whether the future owner of Telekom Srbija will be required to pay back the company’s debts, which may stem from arrears in social security tax. The buyer may also be required to make job guarantees for Telekom Sribja’s 14,500 employees, Wirtschaftsblatt said.

Serbia, A1 Telekom Austria Group, Deutsche Telekom (DT), Orange Group, Telekom Srbija (MTS)