The Slovenia Times

Telekom Slovenije May Soon Sell Its Firms Abroad


Skobe, who took over in September, said the management had not received any official notification about potential privatisation from the government. "If it happens [privatisation], which is possible, the process will take relatively long, it cannot be completed this year," Skobe said.

According to Slovenian media, the most likely prospective buyer is Deutsche Telekom, or its Hungarian subsidiary Magyar Telekom, which was one of the bidders in the failed attempt to sell nearly 50% stake in Telekom Slovenije in 2007-2008.

Dnevnik reports that this time around the sale procedure should be completed in less than a year and that estimates indicate the state could get between EUR 370m and EUR 500m for the 50% stake. Under the scenario favoured by the Finance Ministry, the shareholding in Telekom Slovenije would be sold as a whole.

The other scenario cited by Dnevnik is that the company would first sell its companies abroad. While the daily assesses that bidders would probably be easy to find for the investment in Gibtelecom (estimated at EUR 50m) and Ipko in Kosovo, it says interest in the loss-making Macedonian subsidiary One is more questionable.

Telekom Slovenije acquired Macedonia's no 2 mobile provider Cosmofon and its main distributor Germanos Telecom Skopje (GTS) in March 2009 for EUR 190m, after buying internet services provider in March, later merging them into One.

The companies Cosmofon and GTS were acquired from the Greek OTE Group, which was forced into selling after Deutsche Telekom joined it as an owner because of its indirect ownership of the leading mobile provider T-Mobile Macedonia through Magyar Telekom.

The CEO of the Macedonian subsidiary Ciril Kafol told today's news conference in Skopje that One had began to improve its operating results this year after reporting heavy losses in 2011.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were up 23% to EUR 3.7m in the first half of the year, while operating loss (EBIT) dropped to EUR 3.7m from EUR 10.1m and net loss went down to EUR 4.6m from EUR 14.7m, according to the semi-annual report.

"The trends in the market are positive and the management is doing a good job," Telekom Slovenije chairman Skobe said. The company plans a growth in profitability and revenues in Macedonia, both organically and through possible consolidation in the market or new sources of revenue, he said.

According to Kofol, One has about a 25% market share in mobile services, ranking third in the mobile telephony market, second in fixed telephony and third in the internet access market. As an operator of four DVB-T networks it also offers TV programmes.

Skobe also assured reporters in Skopje today that the project of a new commercial TV in Slovenia, Planet TV, would be fully operative in November after the new TV started broadcasting UEFA Champions League games in mid-September.

The daily Večer reported today that the PM's office confirmed that PM Janez Janša met CEO of Greek media multinational Antenna Group Theodore Kyriakou last week. The content of the meeting was not disclosed, but unofficial information has it that the multinational may soon be entering ownership of Planet TV.

Skobe's comment was that the company was in talks with potential investors in the Planet TV project and that talks would be completed quite shortly.

Through its Slovenian company Antenna TV SL, Antenna Group has already bought a TV licence from Novi Info TV, the company owned by Dejan Vodušek, the son of Info TV owner Vladimir Vodušek, who was apprehended in July on suspicion of extortion.


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