PTK sale falls through

2 Jan 2014

The government of Kosovo has cancelled the sale of state-owned telco Post and Telecommunication Kosovo (PTK) after failing to win parliamentary support for the deal. Reuters reports that the sale of a 75% stake in PTK to an Axos Capital-led consortium was resisted by some deputies from Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s ruling coalition and by opposition members, who argued the EUR277 million (USD381.8 million) deal undervalued the telco, with a deadline to sign the deal expiring on 30 December 2013. ‘Facing this situation we are unable to proceed with the signing of the contract for the sale of shares of the PTK and the commission has decided to cancel the privatisation of the 75% of the shares,’ Kosovo’s economy ministry said in a statement. Meanwhile, Reuters cites an emailed statement from Axos as saying that it ‘will consider undertaking all necessary actions including legal proceedings according to applicable international laws to protect our interests and rights.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the sale of PTK was agreed in April 2013 but has been delayed by fierce public and political resistance. A power struggle within parliament saw opposition politicians boycott a vote on the sale in late September, leaving the ruling party without a quorum to approve the deal. In November 2013 the international consortium expecting to take the 75% stake in PTK – comprising Germany’s ACP Axos Capital US-based investor Najafi Companies – gave Pristina until the end of December to implement the sale.

Kosovo, Telecom Kosovo (TK, Vala)