Telekom Srbija to buy back OTE's 20-percent stake

25. November 2011. / Uncategorized

 

 

Telekom Srbija is trying to take out a EUR 500 million loan in order to buy back its own shares and, thus, reacquire a 20-percent stake held by the Greek telecommunication company OTE, Bloomberg business portal reports.

According to this web portal, Telekom has asked local banks for a EUR 320 million loan, with the repayment period of three years, so it could purchase a fifth of the total number of shares, whereas the rest of the funds would be used to reschedule the loan taken out earlier this year.

The Serbian government last spring unsuccessfully tried to sell a majority package of Telekom shares at the price of EUR 1.4 billion. The only bidder was Telekom Austria whose best bid amounted to EUR 1.1 billion for 51% of shares.

Milica Markovic, Telekom’s spokesperson, told Bloomberg that “Telekom has a chance to buy back OTE’s stake by purchasing its own shares,” adding that she still could not reveal any information regarding that transaction.

Earlier this year domestic media speculated about the purchase of OTE’s stake by the state. They also mentioned that the two sides were unable to agree on the price since Greeks demanded to be paid EUR 550 million for their stake in Telekom Srbija. The acquisition of this package of shares was unofficially mentioned as the main reason for postponing the listing of Telekom Srbija on the Belgrade Stock Exchange.

According to the Law on Free Shares, the citizens should receive 15% of Telekom shares, while current and former employees of that company should obtain 6.5% of shares.

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