Telekom Austria Group is reportedly being eyed as a potential acquisition target by an international investor group that includes Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, alongside Vienna-based businessman Ronny Pecik. Format Magazine reports that the consortium is keen to secure a 20% stake in Telekom Austria for a purchase price of around EUR750 million (USD1.02 billion). Sources close to the deal have indicated that the investors are eyeing the 15% shareholding held by US investor Capital Research & Management, but TeleGeography notes that the US firm scaled its shareholding down to 7.94% in June 2011, and reduced it again to 4.99% last month, casting doubts over the credibility of the information.
For its part, Telekom Austria commented: ‘Today, the Telekom Austria Group announces that it has not received any information regarding current speculation on a potential recent acquisition of a substantial stake. Under Austrian stock exchange law shareholders are required to notify the Vienna Stock Exchange (VSE), the Financial Market Authority as well as the company, within two trading days if the shareholder’s stake breaches specific levels: 5%-steps from 5% to 50%, 75% and 90% thereafter. Telekom Austria Group has not received any such notification’.