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Last Trade - 21/08/17

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UPDATE 1-Serbia expects bigger bid for Telekom stake, eight firms interested

Wed 12th August, 2015 2:15pm
* Serbia offering 58 percent stake in biggest telecom 
    * PM: expects more than previous 1.1 bln euro bid for 51 pct 
    * Investment funds, U.S. firms among suitors 
 (Updates with minister, details) 
    By Ivana Sekularac 
    BELGRADE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Serbia said on Wednesday it had 
received eight non-binding bids for a majority stake in its 
biggest telecom provider and that it expected the sale to reap 
more than the 1.1 billion euros offered and rejected four years 
    The conservative government of Prime Minister Aleksandar 
Vucic is trying to cash in on Telekom Srbija, one of the 
country's most profitable state enterprises, under a drive to 
reduce the state's footprint on the economy. 
    Rasim Ljajic, Serbia's minister of telecommunications, trade 
and tourism, said the government had received eight bids and 
would name those that met the tender's conditions next week. 
    A previous government tried to sell 51 percent of Telekom in 
2011 but ended up rejecting a 1.1 billion euro ($1.23 billion) 
bid by Telekom Austria  TELA.VI  as too low. 
    The current government is offering a 58 percent stake in the 
company, which is a majority stakeholder in Bosnia's 
second-largest telecom operator, Telekom Srpske  TLKM.BJ , and 
controls Montenegrin mobile operator M:Tel.  ID:nL8N0ZJ1NI  
    Telekom Srbija employs around 8,600 people and reported a 13 
percent increase in net profit in 2014 to 17.804 billion dinars  
 ($165.74 million). 
    "We expect a significantly higher offer," Prime Minister 
Aleksandar Vucic told a news conference, referring to the failed 
2011 bid. "If we don't get that we will not sell," he said.  
    A company source told Reuters there were more investment 
funds among the bidders than telecom companies. The government 
has said that several U.S.-based firms are interested. 
    The Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti reported that Telekom 
Slovenia  TLSG.LJ  was among those interested, a report Telekom 
Slovenia declined to comment on. The paper said Deutsche Telekom 
 DTEGn.DE  and Telekom Austria  TELA.VI , both reported to have 
been interested, had pulled out of the race.  ID:L5N108309  
    A spokeswoman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and 
Development (EBRD) indicated the bank was considering taking 
part in the sale, telling Reuters that it was "ready to support 
the authorities in privatisation of Telekom Srbija and will be 
considering working with selected bidders." 
($1 = 0.8973 euros) 
 (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Matt Robinson and 
David Evans) 
 ((; +381 11 30 44 930; 
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