Serbia's PM says Telekom Srbija agrees purchase of 20% stake from Greece's OTE.

By bne IntelliNews December 7, 2011
Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic has confirmed an agreement was reached with Greece's OTE on the sale of its 20% stake in Telekom Srbija, radio and TV broadcaster RTS reported. State-controlled Telekom Srbija said last month there is a possibility of buying the 20% stake in its own equity, owned by OTE. Cvetkovic declined to give any details on the reached agreement since a formal contract has not been signed yet. He told a news conference in Belgrade more information on the matter will be made public soon. Cvetkovic also said the deal will have no impact on the country's budget and public debt. According to a report in daily Novosti, Telekom Srbija is negotiating a bank loan that will partially cover the purchase costs. The government in Belgrade owns the remaining 80% in the telecom. It made an unsuccessful attempt to privatise 51% of Telekom Srbija in the spring of 2011, seeking a minimum of EUR 1.4bn for the stake. Telekom Austria emerged as the only interested bidder in the sale, offering EUR 900mn for the stake and further EUR 500mn for investment. The government rejected the offer after several months of negotiations, declining to sell at a lower price. Telekom Austria is already present in Serbia, owning one of the country's three mobile operators, Vip Mobile.

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