The Slovenia Times

Private Equity Fund Cinven Confirms Interest in Telekom Slovenije


The company has "great existing infrastructure and very good staff. We think there is an opportunity to create...a Slovenian champion," Thomas Railhac, a Cinven principal, told the STA.

He said this meant "keeping Telekom as an independent company headquartered in Slovenia and run by Slovenians."

Cinven would draw on its experience in France and the Netherlands, where it acquired and then sold what are now leading cable companies, respectively Numericable Group and Ziggo.

"You don't have to be a part of a big conglomerate to be successful. We are firmly convinced that we can bring that success to Telekom," he said, adding that Cinven would make "substantial investments" in the network.

In the long term Telekom has the potential "to win back its market share and return to growth," according to him.

Another Cinven partner, Nicolas Paulmier, meanwhile told Finance newspaper that investments in Telekom would amount to 100 million euros annually, with Cinven eschewing high dividend payments.

Telekom would initially be delisted but floated on the stock market again after it is restructured, presumably in a few years, he said.

The statements come amidst fierce debates in Slovenia about the privatisation of the country's no. 1 telecommunications company.

Most of the opposition to privatisation has centred on how Telekom would lose in the long term by being folded into a major conglomerate.

The privatisation of the state's 73% stake is ongoing non-binding bids have already been submitted.

Unofficial reports suggest at least eight bidders have submitted non-binding offers, including the private equity fund Providence and Deutsche Telekom, the latter seen as politically the most likely winner.

The Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH), which manages the privatisation, has not disclosed any details of the bidding.

Media have reported that the deadline for binding bids, originally set at the end of January, has been extended into the first half of February.


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