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Serbia invites non-binding offers for majority stake in state telecoms

Fri 3rd July, 2015 12:55pm
BELGRADE, July 3 (Reuters) - Serbia has invited companies to 
send non-binding offers for a 58 percent stake in state-owned 
telephony and internet operator Telekom Srbija. 
    Potential bidders will have until Aug. 2 to place their 
offers, Serbia's privatisation agency said in a statement. 
    To participate in the process, bidders would need to have 
assets valued at least at 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion) or 
reported revenues of more than 500 million euros.     
     The Serbian government is Telekom Srbija's single biggest 
shareholder with a 58.11 percent stake, while 20 percent is held 
by the company itself. The rest is held by small shareholders 
and employees with 14.95 percent and 6.94 respectively.          
    Telekom Srbija is potentially the most lucrative of hundreds 
of state enterprises, many of them loss-making, that the 
European Union candidate country needs to offload to stabilise 
its finances and reach targets set in a 3-year loan deal with 
the International Monetary Fund.  
    In 2014 Telekom Srbija, which is a majority stakeholder in 
Bosnia's second-largest telecom operator Telekom Srpske 
 TLKM.BJ  and controls Montenegrin mobile operator M:Tel, 
reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 21.1 billion 
(175.89 million euros) dinars and a net profit of 15.7 billion.  
    The government's last attempt to sell the fixed and mobile 
telephony and internet operator failed in 2011 after it rejected 
as too low an offer of 1.1 billion euros from Telekom Austria 
 TELA.VI  for a 51 percent share. 
    In March the company announced it had picked Lazard Freres 
SAS -- the sole bidder in a tender published last year -- to 
advise it in the privatisation process.   ID:nL5N0W8359  
    Back in the 1990s, Serbia sold a 29 percent stake in Telekom 
Srbija to Italy's Telecom Italia  TLIT.MI  and 20 percent to 
Greek OTE  OTEr.AT , but then bought back the stakes in 2002 and 
2012 respectively.      
($1 = 0.8998 euros) 
(1 euro = 119.9589 Serbian dinars) 
 
 (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Mark Heinrich) 
 ((ivana.sekularac@thomsonreuters.com; +381 11 30 44 930; 
Reuters Messaging: 
ivana.sekularac.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) 
 
Keywords: SERBIA PRIVATISATION/
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