Telekom Srbija has submitted a €155 million bid to acquire Kosovar ISP and mobile operator IPKO.
Shpend Ahmeti, the mayor of Kosovo’s capital Pristina, acknowledged that the Serbian state-owned provider had submitted the highest bid but argued that it should not be accepted, noting that Serbia’s government had previously rejected an attempt by an Albanian businessman to acquire a Serbian bank.
IPKO is owned by Slovenia’s Telekom Slovenije, which began divesting its 100% stake in the unit in July 2019. Telekom Srbija confirmed it had submitted a non-binding bid for IPKO, but could reveal no more information as it is bound by an NDA while the tender process is ongoing.
Telekom Srbija has long had its eye on regional expansion but its state ownership has often thwarted its efforts. It made a failed bid to acquire Telekom Albania in late 2018, and while the Albanian government had no power to reject the offer as it held no stake in the Telekom Albania, it did raise concerns over handing control of key infrastructure to a foreign government.