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.