Slovakia picks banks to advise on sale of Telekom 49 pct stake

PRAGUE, July 17 Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:29am EDT

PRAGUE, July 17 (Reuters) - The Slovak government has mandated JP Morgan and Citigroup to advise on the sale of its 49 percent stake in Slovak Telekom, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The government is planning to float the stake in the mobile and fixed-line operator in London and Bratislava unless Deutsche uses its right of first refusal.

The government said in its 2015 budget outlook that the sale could bring in about 1 billion euros, equal to around 1.3 percent of the central European country's gross domestic product.

"The valuation process has started ... we have the ambition to realise the sale by the end of the year, either through an IPO (initial public offering) or directly (to Deutsche)," Slovak Economy Ministry spokeswoman Miriam Ziakova said.

"It depends on what the banks offer us. At the moment the situation in the market is such that IPO would be much more favourable ... Or if Deutsche is interested to buy all the shares, that option is still here." (Reporting by Robert Muller; writing by Jan Lopatka; editing by Jane Baird)

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