Cabinet approves Slovak Telekom privatisation

By bne IntelliNews February 11, 2015

The Slovak cabinet approved the privatisation of the country's 49% stake in Slovak Telekom (ST) on February 11, and hopes to submit the plan for parliamentary approval by March 6.

Bratislava will prefer to carry out the sale via the capital market, Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis said, although it has still not ruled out a divestment to a strategic investor if it can find one. The sale process is expected to be concluded by mid-year.

"Preferentially we'll push it through the capital market in order to generate the [best] price," Pavlis said, according to TASR. "It should be as transparent as possible, with the highest profit possible. Advisors, which will be renowned banks working for the National Property Fund (FNM), will issue recommendations for us."

While Slovakia, which has been looking to offload the stake for some time, refuses to rule out a direct sale to an investor, it has had little joy in that regard thus far. Majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom has shown no interest, while Bratislava has not received “any official offer for talks for the time being," despite a series of unofficial talks, Pavlis has previously said.

Slovakia hopes to earn around €1bn from the sale. In July, FNM signed agreements with JP Morgan and Citigroup regarding management of the divestment.

Slovakia is likely to use the proceeds to cover its financing needs for 2015. However, Pavlis has also suggested Bratislava could direct the funds to acquire part of Enel’s 66% stake in power producer Slovenske Elektrarne.  In September last year, the economy minister said he would like the Slovak government, which owns a 34% stake in SE, to raise its holding to 51%. 

 

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