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Six companies bid for Serbia's state-owned telecoms company

Mon 16th November, 2015 8:35pm
BELGRADE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Six companies have placed 
binding bides for a majority stake in state-owned Telekom 
Srbija, a Serbian government official said on Monday. 
    The offers for Serbia's largest telecoms provider will be 
examined and a preferred bidder selected in the next 14 days, 
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic 
said, after which the government will enter negotiations with 
the chosen suitor. 
    "If we don't think a single bid is good enough, we may 
decide to give up the privatisation," Ljajic said. 
    The government's last attempt to sell the company, in 2011, 
failed after it rejected Telekom Austria's  TELA.VI  1.1 billion 
euro ($1.17 billion) bid for a 51 percent stake as too low.  
    Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said earlier on 
Monday that he expects an offer of 1.4 billion euros for the 
government's 58 percent stake in Telekom Serbia.   
    A government official this month said that China Telecom 
Corp  0728.HK  was among companies interested in the stake. 
    Ljajic declined to name any of the bidders on Monday but 
said that most interest had come from investment funds. 
    The company, which is a majority stakeholder in Bosnia's 
second-largest telecoms operator Telekom Srpske  TLKM.BJ  and 
controls Montenegrin mobile operator M:Tel, employs about 8,600 
people. It reported a 13 percent increase in net profit in 2014 
to 17.804 billion Serbian dinars ($158.19 million).   
($1 = 112.5500 Serbian dinars) 
($1 = 0.9364 euros) 
 (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by David Goodman) 
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