Handelsblatt Exclusive

Telekom in Bid for Serb Carrier

telekom srbija
Serbia is trying to shed its stake in Telekom Srbija - and Deutsche Telekom is interested.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The acquisition of Serbia’s Telekom Srbija could help Deutsche Telekom expand its operations in the Balkans.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Serbia has put its 58-percent stake in Telekom Srbija up for sale and wants at least €1.1 billion, or €1.3 billion.
    • The Serbian operator could fill a gap in Deutsche Telekom’s Balkan operations.
    • Deutsche Telekom, which took control of Slovakia’s Slovak Telekom in May, declined to comment.
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    Audio

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Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecoms operator, is among a group of companies bidding for Telekom Srbija, Serbia’s government-controlled landline carrier, Handelsblatt has learned.

Serbia, which owns 58 percent of Telekom Srbija, opened the bidding process last month to sell its stake and wants to raise at least €1.1 billion, or $1.3 billion.

“It is an open and transparent process. Deutsche Telekom, as well as other interested parties, are very welcome in Serbia,” the Serbian prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic, told Handelsblatt in an interview.

“We hope we can conclude the sale process in five months,” Mr. Vucic said. His country’s economy is suffering from weak growth and could use the cash to bolster state finances.

Serbia, which has 8 million citizens, rejected a €1.1-billion offer for a 51-percent stake in Srbija Telekom in 2011 from Telekom Austria as too low.

Deutsche Telekom, a rival to British-based Vodafone and Telefonica of Spain, declined to comment.

Since the chief executive, Timotheus Höttges, took over in 2014, Deutsche Telekom has streamlined to focus on telecommunications services in Europe.

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