Croatian fixed and mobile operator Hrvatski Telekom (HT) has informed the country’s Competition Agency (AZTN) that it has begun the process of finding a buyer for its 17.41% stake in local ISP Optima Telekom. HT inherited its interest in Optima as part of a 2013 bankruptcy settlement and currently has management rights over the telco which run until July 2021. Under the settlement HT is required to begin preparations to divest its stake in July 2019, with the sale process to be launched in January 2020. HT also has rights to find a buyer for a 36.90% stake in Optima that Zagrebacka Banka took as part of the same 2013 settlement.
According to a report from SeeNews, if there is no interest in the sale of Optima six months after its launch, or if the submitted bids are unacceptable, HT is obliged to hire an investment bank to lead the sale process. There has been some speculation that United Group, which already has a number of operations in south-east Europe, may be interested in acquiring Optima, which offers a range of broadband, telephony and pay-TV services across Croatia.