Kosovo has restarted the privatisation process for state-backed telco Kosovo Telecom and has already attracted interest from several international investors, even though the bidding process remains some way off. Citing a report from Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Balkan Insight writes that Pristina started the procedures for the sale earlier this week, but several preconditions would need to be met first before the company goes under the hammer. These include the restructuring of Kosovo Telecom with assistance from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which the Ministry of Economic Development (Ministria e Zhvillimit Ekonomik, MZHE) said would be working closely with the government to help prepare the privatisation process.
Investment firm Artillery One has expressed an interest in acquiring a 75% stake in the telco and has requested financial data to begin evaluating the company’s worth, an MZHE source noted. Other parties reportedly interested in the sale are regional telecom firms A1 Telekom Austria Group and PPF Group, both of which have a presence in southeast Europe, the latter having acquired former Telenor divisions in Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary and Bulgaria last year. France’s Orange Group was also listed as potential buyer and has operations in Slovakia, Romania and Moldova.