PRISTINA, April 16 Kosovo's government approved
the sale of its state telecom company on Tuesday and gave the
German-U.S. buyers four months to pay the 227 million euros
($297 million) they offered for 75 percent of the country's most
A consortium of Germany's ACP Axos Capital Gmbh and
U.S.-based investor Najafi Companies was confirmed last week as
the highest bidder for PTK, in partnership with the UK's BT
BT said its role was limited to providing advice and it had
no equity in the bid.
The sale represents a breakthrough in Kosovo's struggle to
attract foreign investment five years since it declared
independence from Serbia.
The country of 1.7 million people, one of the poorest in
Europe, suffers from a reputation for deep-rooted graft and
organised crime and is still wrestling with ethnic tensions
stemming from a 1998-99 war.
"This is a positive signal for other investors that Kosovo
is becoming an attractive place for investment, that law and
order is working," Economy Minister Besim Beqaj said at a
Beqaj said the sale guaranteed the jobs of PTK's 2,500
employees for the next three years. The contract will be signed
within 60 days and then the new owners have another 60 days to
pay the money.
PTK, which competes with a division of Slovenia Telekom, has
more than 1 million mobile subscribers, another 100,000 landline
customers and provides internet and cable TV services. The sale
does not include its postal arm.
The Kosovo government will retain a 25 percent stake in the
company for at least another five years.