Pristina re-launches privatisation of Kosovo Telecom

By bne IntelliNews January 22, 2019

The Kosovan government decided on January 22 to re-launch the procedure for the privatisation of Kosovo Telecom.

Kosovo canceled the sale of Kosovo Telecom, formerly known as Post and Telecommunications of Kosovo (PTK), in 2013 after failing to win parliamentary support for the deal.

With the aim of privatising the company, the government set up a commission led by the minister of economic development and composed of the finance minister, trade minister, infrastructure minister and minister of labour that will recommend the successful bidder in the privatisation process, the government said in the statement.

In May 2018, Kosovo won an arbitration case against German company ACP Axos Capital, which had asked for €400mn in compensation for the cancelled privatisation of Kosovo Telecom.

This legal victory opened the way for the indebted Kosovo Telecom to be restructured and for the government to relaunch its privatisation, which was halted as the authorities awaited the US arbitration court’s decision.

ACP Axos Capital filed a lawsuit against the Kosovan government after the failure to win parliamentary approval to sell 75% of Kosovo Telecom to the German company for €277mn in 2013.

Once the most profitable company in the country, Kosovo Telecom came close to bankruptcy with accumulated debts of €60mn. It has been in debt since 2015 due to bad management and rising competition from the second-largest operator, IPKO, owned by Telekom Slovenije.

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