Key Steps Expected in Telekom, Laško Sale


The Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH), which manages the sale of the state's 73% in Telekom, has been tight-lipped, saying only that the bidders are preparing to submit binding bids.

Media reports suggest offers have been submitted by Deutsche Telekom, which is considered the clear front-runner politically and strategically, and the private equity funds Cinven and Providence.

Neither Laško and the consortium selling a 51% stake in the brewer have revealed the details of the procedure either, except from confirming they have received five binding bids.

Dutch brewer Heineken is the only one to have confirmed interest, with the remaining four believed to be private equity funds KKR, Bain Capital, Mid Europa Partners and CVC Capital Partners.

While the financial aspects of the offers have not been disclosed, several media have reported the price ranges from 20 to 22 euros per share, which is lower than initially expected.

Laško traded at 21 euros per share on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange on Friday.

Unofficially, the sellers would have wanted at least EUR 25 per share and speculation has been rife which bidder would improve the offer. Meanwhile, the question of Laško's recapitalisation remains open.

The new owner, which through Laško would also acquire the Ljubljana-based brewer Pivovarna Union, is also expected to inject fresh money into the company, unofficially at least EUR 75m.

It is unlikely the sale deal will be signed today yet, except if any of the bidders offered a clearly higher price. Otherwise negotiations are likely to be extended.