Slovenia to start second phase of Telekom sale this week

LJUBLJANA, June 9 Mon Jun 9, 2014 5:11am EDT

LJUBLJANA, June 9 (Reuters) - Slovenia will invite investors to submit binding bids for the purchase of its largest telecom operator Telekom later this week, state investment fund SOD, which is coordinating the sale, said on Monday.

It said it had received "non-binding bids from a significant number of leading strategic and financial investors" but gave no further details.

Telekom has a market capitalisation of 947.6 million euros ($1.29 billion) and the sale is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The government and state-owned businesses are selling a total of 72.75 percent of Telekom, with the rest of the company already in the hands of private investors.

SOD said the sale was proceeding on schedule even though the centre-left Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek resigned in May after she lost the battle for the leadership of her Positive Slovenia party. The country is due to hold a snap general election on July 13.

Sources close to the deal told Reuters in December that private equity groups and companies such as Deutsche Telekom and Telenor could be interested.

Telekom shares rose 1.03 percent to 146.5 euros after the statement was released, while the blue-chip SBI index gained 0.93 percent.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Mark Potter)