Telekom Srbija is unlikely to be privatised in 2019 despite investors registering their interest, according to Serbia’s minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications.
Speaking to the news agency Beta, Rasim Ljajic said: “I don’t expect anything to happen with the sale of Telekom. There has always been interest from various funds or companies, but everything depends on the offers and a business decision by Telekom. I can’t say whether they will choose a partnership process.”
The operator is majority (58%) owned by the Serbian government, with the remaining shares held by the company’s employees and Serbian citizens. In December, US-based private equity firm Ripplewood Advisors expressed interest in acquiring a 20% stake in the operator.
Telekom Srbija is in the process of boosting its TV and internet offering, having bought a majority stake in local provider Kopernikus Technology in November. It has just acquired cable companies Radijus Vektor and AVcom for an undisclosed sum. In an effort to expand its TV and internet services to more than 1 million subscribers, it is discussing takeover bids for five more cable firms.
Vladimir Lucic, internet and multimedia coordinator at the operator, said: “We decided to put an end to Telekom lagging behind, i.e. to occupy a position that the national operator should have, which is the leading position…Our goal is to prove not only that we can compete with the existing competition…but also stand shoulder to shoulder with large companies in terms of the provision of digital services”.