LJUBLJANA Jan 30 Slovenia has sold the second
public company from a list of 15 state assets slated for
privatisation for a reported 18 million euros ($25 million), as
part of efforts to revive its economy after narrowly avoiding an
EU/IMF bailout last year.
Fotona, a developer of medical and military laser gear, was
sold to U.S. firm Gores Laser Holdings LP, a unit of Gores
Group, LLC, together with a company called Technology4Medicine.
Having scraped together funds to bail out its banks last
month, Slovenia is selling assets once considered sacrosanct by
many Slovenians who, unlike some other parts of ex-communist
eastern Europe, have mostly resisted Western capital after the
end of the Cold War.
More than a dozen other companies are on the block,
including Telekom, the biggest telecom group, Ljubljana airport,
flag carrier Adria Airways and No. 2 bank NKBM. Already sold is
paint and varnish producer Helios.
Technology4Medicine already distributes Fotona's products in
the United States, Uros Krizanec, a lawyer representing T4Med,
State fund PDP, which owns around 70 percent of Fotona,
confirmed the sale but gave no financial details. Local
newspapers said the company was sold for 18 million euros after
a final bidding round on Thursday, which also involved private
equity fund Alpe-Adria-Balkan.
(Writing by Zoran Radosavljevic; Editing by David Holmes)