August 30, 2013 / 4:46 PM / 4 years ago

Slovenia seeks financial advisers for Telekom sale

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia is seeking a financial adviser to help on the sale of its stake in telecoms operator Telekom (TLSG.LJ), as the country attempts to avoid an international bailout.

State-owned investment fund SOD said on Friday 15 international financial institutions would be invited to participate in a tender to advise on the sale, adding it expects to make a choice at the start of October.

SOD, which holds 4.3 percent of Telekom shares, will coordinate the sale in agreement with the government and a number of other state-owned firms, which together hold over 75 percent of the company.

Telekom is the largest of 15 firms that the government earmarked for sale in May. Shares of the company, which has a stock market value of 725.4 million euros ($956.5 million), closed unchanged at 111 euros, before the statement on the search for an adviser on the sale was released.

SOD did not say when the sale of Telekom could be completed.

    The government also plans to sell its holdings in the country’s second-largest bank Nova KBM NKBM.LJKBM.WA, airline Adria Airways and the Ljubljana airport.

    Slovenia was badly hit by the global crisis due to its dependency on exports and has been struggling with recession since last year.

    It could become the next eurozone member to seek a bailout because its banks, which are mainly state-owned, are choked with some 7.5 billion euros of bad loans, equivalent to 21.5 percent of GDP.

    Editing by David Holmes

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