(Adds comment from sale coordinator)
By Marja Novak
LJUBLJANA, April 14 (Reuters) - Shares in Slovenia’s largest telecoms operator, Telekom Slovenia, dropped almost 7 percent on Tuesday on speculation that the sale of the government’s majority stake may be shelved.
Slovenia’s state investment fund SDH, which is coordinating the sale, said on Monday that it had received only one binding bid for the business.
After stock market trading closed on Tuesday with Telekom Slovenia shares down 6.9 percent at 119.2 euros, SDH said the sale process will continue.
“SDH, along with financial and legal advisers, is assessing the binding bid,” it said in a statement, without revealing the bidder or the value of the bid.
Sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters that investment fund Cinven offered about 110 euros per Telekom share, valuing the company at about 719 million euros ($768 million) .
Analysts believe that the government, which controls 72.75 percent of Telekom, had expected to achieve a valuation of about one billion euros.
Cinven has declined to comment.
“The government has indicated that it will not sell at any price,” said Saso Stanovnik, chief economist of investment firm Alta Invest, adding that there is a chance it could scrap the sale if the bid is below 120 euros per share and is not improved.
Slovenia tried to sell Telekom in 2008 but cancelled the process, saying the bids were too low.
Telekom is the largest of 15 companies that were earmarked for privatisation in 2013. So far only three have been sold.
Last week parliament ousted Slovenia’s defence minister because he had ordered the army secret service to analyse the security consequences of the sale of Telekom. ($1 = 0.9368 euros) (Editing by Mark Potter and David Goodman)