Telekom Austria, via its local mobile subsidiary VIPnet, is interested in buying Croatian corporate-focused broadband operator Metronet for a ‘high two-digit million euro’ price, according to a Bloomberg report quoting Vienna-based newspaper Die Presse. The proposed deal was first reported by Croatian paper Business.hr in mid-December, which said the Austrians had carried out due diligence on Metronet, majority owned by the fund Quaestus, whilst a potential stumbling block to the purchase was the accumulated losses of Metronet totalling EUR398.4 million at the end of the third quarter of 2010, including 3Q losses alone of EUR40.9 million. Negotiations between VIPnet and Metronet are said to be at a ‘very advanced’ stage, although both companies have declined to give comments on proceedings. Meanwhile Croatian daily Poslovni Dnevnik claimed that VIPnet is also lining up bids for any one of three other alternative telecoms operators in the country, namely unbundled local loop-based operators Optima Telekom and H1 Telekom as well as cableco B.net.
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