Telekom Austria has reportedly expressed an interest in buying the 58% stake in Telekom Srbija that the government of Serbia has made available for purchase.
The controlling stake was put to public offer earlier this month, with the country’s privatisation agency accepting non-binding bids from companies with assets worth over €2 billion (or revenues of over €500 million). Telekom Austria has requested the sales documents required to lodge a bid.
Owned by America Movil, Telekom Austria previously attempted to acquire a 51% stake in the Serbian incumbent in 2011. However, its €1.1 billion offer was deemed too low.
Serbia is attempting to sell several state-owned enterprises in order to bring its finances into order as it looks to join the EU. The sale is likely aimed at meeting targets set by the International Monetary Fund for the country’s 3-year loan deal.
Telekom Srbija leads the market with around 4.7 million subscribers. In 2002 and then 2012, the government reacquired stakes that it had respectively sold to Telecom Italia and Greek operator OTE back in the 1990s.
Bidding for the stake is open until August 2nd.