LJUBLJANA May 15 Slovenia has asked potential
buyers of its largest telecoms operator Telekom Slovenia
to submit non-binding bids by the start of June, state
investment fund SOD said on Thursday.
The company, the largest of 15 earmarked by Slovenia for
privatisation last year, has a market capitalisation of 945.7
million euros ($1.3 billion).
The government aims to sell the 72.75 percent of the company
currently in the hands of the state and state-owned businesses
by the end of the year. The rest of the company is owned mainly
by local companies and investors.
SOD, which is co-ordinating the sale, said the invited
investors were chosen from those who expressed their interest in
April but gave no details.
Sources close to the deal told Reuters in December that
private equity groups and companies such as Deutsche Telekom
and Telenor could be interested.
Shares of Telekom Slovenia were unchanged on Thursday at
144.7 euros, against a 0.3 percent decline for the blue-chip SBI
Slovenia narrowly avoided an international bailout last year
and is banking on its privatisation programme to boost budget
income and improve corporate governance.
Though the centre-left Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek
resigned last week after losing the battle for the leadership of
her Positive Slovenia party, her caretaker government says that
privatisation plans will not be affected.
($1 = 0.7294 Euros)
(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by David Goodman)