Slovakia to float Slovak Telecom in London and Bratislava

By bne IntelliNews April 2, 2015

bne IntelliNews -


Slovakia will float its 49% stake in Slovak Telekom (ST) on the Bratislava and London stock exchanges, officials announced on April 1. The plan may also be part of a government push to secure a majority in power producer Slovenske Elektrarne.

The government has been trying to offload the minority stake in the national telecom operator for some time. However, it has struggled to find a strategic investor, given that 51% is already held by Deutsche Telekom. In the meantime, it has signalled that it wants to accelerate the sale, suggesting it wants to use the funds raised to buy a majority holding in power producer Slovenske Elektrarne.

The Slovak government has already approved a plan to transfer the economy ministry’s 34% stake in the telecom operator to the country’s privatisation agency  - the National Property Fund (FNM) - which holds 15% currently. The whole 49% stake would then be sold via public offerings on the stock exchanges, TASR news agency reported.

“The sale of a certain part of the stake will also be opened up to the Slovak public. This means that people will be given preferential treatment via a 5% discount if they decide to buy a certain volume of shares," explained FNM head Branislav Bacik.

Slovakia hopes to earn around €1bn from the sale, although analysts suggest that could prove optimistic. Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis said in February that an IPO is likely the preferred route in order to secure the best pricing.

In July, FNM signed agreements with JP Morgan and Citigroup regarding the management of the divestment. Bratislava wants to complete the sale by the end of June.

"We do not know exactly when shares will get to the stock exchange, but we would like to have it concluded by the end of the first half," ministry spokeswoman Miriam Ziakova said, according to Reuters.

The country had previously said it had not ruled out a direct sale to a strategic investor, but it has had little success in whipping up interest. Deutsche Telekom has shown no enthusiasm to utilise its pre-emptive rights to buy the stake, while Bratislava has not received “any official offer for talks for the time being", despite a series of unofficial talks, Pavlis said in February. 

"We cannot prevent Deutsche Telekom from making an offer, but today the government approved a sale through the stock exchange. If Deutsche Telekom comes with an offer by the time of placement, the government would consider it," the ministry spokeswoman told Reuters.

However, despite the push from Bratislava, the German telecom sounds unlikely to get involved. "Our strategy regarding our European participations has always been to look at opportunities from a perspective of whether it makes economic sense. We will do the same with Slovak Telekom," a Deutsche Telekom spokesman said. 

"From an operational and economic perspective, the sale of the Slovak government's stake does not change much for us," he continued. "We can continue to execute our strategy."

Bratislava had earlier said it was 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 Slovenske Elektrarne. That idea gained traction in March when Prime Minister Robert Fico performed an about-face to support it for the first time.

In September, the economy minister said he would like the Slovak government, which owns a 34% stake in SE, to raise its holding to 51%. Bratislava has been piling the pressure on the Italian utility since it put SE up for grabs in the summer. That has led suitors such as Czech utility CEZ to downplay their interest in the power producer.  

Related Articles

BOOK REVIEW: “Europe’s Orphan” – how the euro became a scapegoat for policy ills

Kit Gillet in Bucharest - The euro, conceived as part of a grand and unifying vision for Europe, has, over the last few years, become tainted and often even blamed for the calamities that have ... more

UK demands for EU reform provoke fury in Visegrad

bne IntelliNews - The Visegrad states raised a chorus of objection on November 10 as the UK prime minister demanded his country's welfare system be allowed to discriminate between EU citizens. The ... more

Austria's Erste rides CEE recovery to swing to profit in Jan-Sep

bne IntelliNews - Erste Group Bank saw the continuing economic recovery across Central and Eastern Europe push its January-September financial results back into net profit of €764.2mn, the ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.