State to divest stake in Telekom Srbija in September?

14 Jun 2013

Serbian state-owned telco Telekom Srbija could be offered for sale this September, with a privatisation plan for the operator expected to be unveiled later this month, Broadband TV News reports. With Telekom Srbija having improved its financial performance, it is claimed that the Serbian government is examining its options, with suggestions that it could divest its entire 100% holding in a deal which could raise as much as EUR2 billion (USD2.67 billion). Further, it is understood that negotiations with potential bidders have already been conducted.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-May 2013 Telekom Srbija was owned by the Republic of Serbia (58.11%), Telekom Srbija (20.00%), Serbian citizens (14.95%), and current and former employees of Telekom Srbija (6.94%). In April 2013 Belgrade revealed that, whilst it was not actively seeking to sell the telco, it was open to offers, with state secretary at the ministry of finance Aleksandar Ljubic quoted as saying that the government would ‘consider every possible credible offer to buy the company,’ adding: ‘Telekom has already been on the market and could not find a strategic partner. Generally speaking, if there [was] an offer from a potential strategic partner that would enable the company secure, long-term stability, innovation and investment and [to] retain its first place in the country and region, then the government would consider such an offer.’ A month earlier, rumours had circulated that Telekom Srbija was amongst a group of potential targets for acquisitions being considered by Russia’s Sistema Group.

Serbia, Telekom Srbija (MTS)