Ukraine’s State Property Fund (SPF) has officially received the sole bid for the government’s entire 92.79% stake in incumbent telco Ukrtelecom from Epic Services Ukraine (ESU), a subsidiary of Austrian investment fund Epic. The bid met the minimum price of UAH10.5 billion (USD1.3 billion), plus a nominal UAH10, whilst the state tender commission has approved ESU’s development for Ukrtelecom involving investment of UAH450 million over five years. The main aims of the development plan are to solidify its dominant fixed line market position and continue to grow its stature in the broadband internet sector, according to a report by Delo.ua. No mention of 3G mobile development was made in the announcement of the plan, and as previously reported in CommsUpdate, expert opinion has flagged up the likelihood of Ukrtelecom’s struggling cellular division being sold off by a new owner. Before ESU can acquire control of Ukrtelecom, the state must conduct an independent evaluation of the price, due to the lack of competitive bids. A tender to select an independent assessor of the state-owned stake will be held on 6 January 2011 (with a deadline for bids by the end of today, 30 December). A 30-day period will be given for the assessment of the stake, before it will be offered to ESU at a price no lower than UAH10.5 billion. The SPF expects the sale to be completed by mid-February.
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