The Serbian Ministry of Finance working group for the privatization of 51% of shares in national telecommunications provider Telekom Serbia has extended the deadline for submitting binding bids until March 31.
According to the Ministry, the deadline was pushed so that France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, as well as all other interested companies, will have enough time to study the tender documents and make the best quality bids for the privatization of one part of Telekom Serbia.
The Finance Ministry announced that the deadline was extended in order to give more time to France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and other participants to study the tender documents.
The Serbian government set on December 24, 2010 a minimum starting price to US$1.86 billion.
The government instructed the Finance Ministry and its working group to notify all participants in the Telekom privatization tender about the starting price.
The tender for the sale of Telekom was called on October 20, 2010 and the initial deadline for placing binding offers was February 21. The government will schedule a public auction after the deadline has expired.
Greek telecom incumbent Hellenic Telecoms Organization SA’s Chief Executive Michael Tsamas, said that the company is leaning towards a sale of its Serbian unit minority stake but needs more time to consider its strategy in Romania.
According to Tsamas, Hellenic Telecoms (OTE) is prepared to sell its 20% stake in Serbia’s Telekom Srbija, but only if the price is right.
The CEO added that as far as Romanian operations go, OTE needs another three months to decide whether it will raise its stake or acquire all minorities in Romania’s No. 1. Telecommunications company Romtelecom, since it needs to examine all its options before a final decision.
OTE owns 54% of Romtelecom. The remainder is owned by the Romanian state which in November clarified that it would like to quickly dispose of its 46% stake by a trade sale or an IPO listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
The EGM also ratified the appointment of Tsamas as the new CEO. According to sources, the CEO’s contract expires in 2013 and his remuneration will be 15% lower than the previous CEO Panagis Vourloumis.
OTE is one of the largest telecom players in South East Europe with operations in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, in addition to Greece.
Serbia’s Ministry of Finance has announced that seven companies have applied to participate in a tender for the 51% stake in Telekom Srbija being sold by the government.
The seven companies include Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telekom Austria, America Movil, Weather Investments, Turkcell and VimpelCom. According to a statement from the ministry, the seven qualify to participate in the tender and have been given the green light to take part in the next step in the process, which will be to submit a guarantee of payment in order to view Telekom’s sale documentation.
According to State Secretary of Finance Vuk Djokovic, the seven companies will be required to submit binding offers no later than 21 February 2011. If there are several offers, a tender auction will be organized at the end of February.
He stated that the winner will be the company that offers the highest price. The winning firm will have to then obtain the approval of the anti-monopoly commission in Serbia, as well as in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro where Telekom Srbija has subsidiaries. Djokovic expressed the hope that the entire process could be completed by the end of the first half of 2011.
Sitronics, a provider of solutions in the field of telecommunications, information technology and microelectronics in Russia and CIS countries, with a presence in other EEMEA emerging markets, announced that it has signed a new contract with Ugandan mobile operator Warid Telecom Uganda.
As part of the new agreement Sitronics provided additional FORIS licenses to support growth of Warid Telecom Uganda. Upgrade is 1.1 million licenses by which customer will reach total of 2.4 million licenses.
“We are pleased to announce this new deal with Warid Telecom Uganda,” said Sitronics Telecom Solutions CEO Mikhail Bondarenko. “This agreement highlights the beneficial relationship and trust between the two companies, and further developing our cooperation will enable Warid to increase the number of their satisfied customers and to extend their market presence in Uganda.”
Sitronics products, services and solutions currently enable the operations for over 100 million end users in such telecommunications operators as the MTS Group, Comstar UTS, Vodafone and Telecom Serbia, in a number of countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Serbia and Uzbekistan.
According to reports quoting Telecommunications Minister Jasna Matic, following regulatory changes this year and technical preparations that should be completed in February, an estimated 9.9 million mobile-phone users will be able to switch from one operator to another without changing their numbers.
According to Matic, number portability is a key element of true competition because many users are reluctant to change operators if that requires changing numbers. She declined to estimate the likely impact on rates or on the size of the overall market, but said at least 10% of users are likely to change operators next year.
As per the Telecommunications Minister Jasna Matic, Deutsche Telekom AG, Telekom Austria AG and France Telecom SA bought tender documents as the government prepares to sell a 51% stake in Telekom Srbija DD.
According to Matic, the three potential buyers have acquired the documents recently in the ongoing tender that closes on Nov. 26.
Telekom Srbija is 20% owned by Greece’s Hellenic Telecommunications Organizations AS, or OTE, which has not yet decided if it would sell its stake. If it decides to divest the holding, the Serbian government would sell only 31% of the 80% it owns.
A sale arranger has valued the entire company at US$3.28 billion. The sale is to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. Telekom Srbija controls 60% of Serbia’s mobile- telephone market. It also has 40% and 26% of mobile-phone markets in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, respectively, through subsidiaries.
If reports are to be believed, the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in Serbia has been delayed by at least six months. The main reason for the delay in MNP is because the tender to supply the necessary equipment has been called off.
However, according to reports citing unnamed officials at the telecommunications regulator Ratel, more information will be available following a 20 November meeting of a working group on MNP, which will make a final decision on when the service can be launched commercially.
Telekom Austria shall accept documentation on privatization of the major stake of the Telecom Serbia. Thus this company appears as the chief possible buyer in privatization of Serbian company. The tender for the sale is of 51% stake and was announced yesterday.
Telekom Austria is present on Serbian market with its mobile operator VIP Mobile Serbia. According to Serbian Minister for telecommunication Jasna Matic, Telecom Serbia shall not be sold before beginning of the next year.
The compensation for the tender documentation is US$14021. According to Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic the money from the sale of Telecom Serbia shall be used for infrastructural projects only, except the Corridor 10 and announced setting up of a special fund.
As per the Minister of Finance Diana Dragutinovic, however, that she was opposing setting up of a special fund from that money. Instead she thinks that money should go to the budget so that the spending of it is completely transparent. According to her words the spending of money from the sale of Telecom Serbia and money from other privatizations shall be controlled by the Parliament and a new fiscal council which shall be formed on the basis of changes of the Law on budget system.
As per the Minister of economy and regional development Mladjan Dinkic, the Government agrees that part of the money from the sale of Telecom Serbia is used for capital support to â€˜Komercijalna banka’ in which the Government is the largest shareholder. If not, the EBRD might become the major owner of â€˜Komercijalna banka’ in September of 2012.
According to Cabinet officials, Telekom’s worth is estimated at US$3.37 billion and the government will set the minimal price for the sale of company shares.
The evaluation of Telekom Srbija’s capital was performed by a privatization adviser for the purpose of determining the exact percentage of the portion of capital that will be transferred over to current and former employees.
The government also decided to give free Telekom shares to Serbian citizens and the company’s former and current employees.
The current and former employees will be at liberty to shares equaling the maximum amount of up to 6.52% of the company’s estimated value. According to the government’s decision, the citizens who are entitled to the free shares of public companies will get 15% of Telekom shares.
Serbia is planning to sell half of its stake in Telekom Srbija to other European phone companies. The government is seeking as a minimum US$2.25 billion from the sale. Serbia has applied to become a member of the European Union, but needs to reduce state debt and to attract foreign investment
Telekom Srbija is 20% owned by Greece’s OTE, which itself is 30% owned by Deutsche Telekom. The sale will comprise of 50% stake and one share of the equity. It would be the largest Serbian government asset sale until now.