Telekom Srbija privatisation to launch within 100 days

29 Apr 2014

The privatisation of state-backed telco Telekom Srbija is expected to begin within 100 days of the inauguration of Serbia’s new government, which was voted into office on Sunday, as the new prime minister heralded a total overhaul of the economy, including cuts in public sector spending and the privatisation of a number of government-owned companies. Stressing the need for economic reforms, the Associated Press quotes Serbia’s new PM, Aleksandar Vucic as saying in an address to the new parliament that they would ‘sleep and eat here’ in order to pass the first set of laws by July 15, adding: ‘This is something that has been put off for too long. Changes and modernization are the key words.’

Broadband TV News cites local sources as saying that a number of firms have expressed an interest in the telco, including Telekom Austria, Deutsche Telekom (DT), an unnamed Turkish operator and a similarly anonymous US financial group. Whilst the last of these was reported to have expressed the greatest interest in acquiring the state’s stake in Telekom Srbija, DT was deemed the most likely bidder, given its recent expansion in the region: CommsUpdate reported earlier this month that DT had been given the green light by the European Commission (EC) to purchase GTS Central Europe, one of the top infrastructure-based telecommunications service providers in central and eastern Europe with a strong portfolio of services focused on a total of more than 35,000 business customers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania (although the deal excluded GTS Slovakia). Speaking on the GTS takeover, DT had commented that the acquisition ‘fits perfectly into our strategy of building a pan-European network and strengthens our position with business and multinational customers.’

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