Telekom Slovenije plans flat gross dividend of €10/share for 2014

By bne IntelliNews March 27, 2015

State-controlled Telekom Slovenije, which is undergoing privatisation, said on March 27 it plans to pay a flat dividend of €10 per share in gross terms to its shareholders for 2014.

The shareholders will vote on the proposal on May 15, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

If approved, Telekom Slovenije's total distributable profit of €65mn for 2014 will be paid out as dividend, as the company did in 2013.

The telecom said in February that its consolidated net profit plunged to just €1.6mn last year from €51mn in 2013 as it had to set aside additional provisions worth €43.6mn. 

Most likely, it will take funds from its retained earnings to pay for last year's dividends since according to its books, the retained earnings dropped to minus €19.2mn at end-2014 from plus €43.1mn at end-2013, which is more or less equivalent to the planned dividend payment.

As of end-2014, the Slovenian government owned 62.5% of Telekom Slovenije, followed by Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) with 4.3% and individual shareholders with 11.3%. The remainder is in the hands of domestic and foreign corporations and institutional investors. The company had 11,498 registered shareholders at the end of last year.

Telekom Slovenije is the largest on the list of 15 state-controlled firms that Ljubljana plans to sell under a major privatisation plan adopted in June 2013. The government is reportedly eyeing €1.6bn from the sale of its 73% stake in the company.

However, Slovenia has reportedly extended the bidding deadline in the tender for the privatisation of Telekom Slovenije for a fourth time - postponing it from the beginning of February to the end of March.

Deutsche Telekom and several buyout firms from the US and Europe are reportedly in the race to buy the government's 73% stake in the company. In January, UK-based private equity firm Cinven became the latest potential bidder to confirm its interest in the ongoing privatisation, hinting that annual investments in the company could amount to €100mn.

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