Serbia may decide not to sell a 51% stake in Telekom Srbija if bidders offer less than the minimum price of EUR1.4 billion (USD1.9 billion), writes Reuters citing a government official. ‘We will not sell it at any cost. If offers are below minimum price then we will say the tender had failed,’ an official who asked not to be named said. Four firms are seen as likely bidders in the sale, for which Belgrade has set 21 March as a deadline for binding bids. The official said Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Austria, Vimpelcom and Weather Investments would be likely bidders. ‘France Telecom has already left, while America Movil and Turkcell are almost certain to pull out,’ the official added.
Turkcell and France Telecom have said they would not be bidding as the price was too high. Last week, Daniel Hajj, the CEO of America Movil, said his company might switch its focus away from Serbia as it eyes Polish cellco Polkomtel instead. Serbian Finance Ministry State Secretary, Vuk Djokovic, had said last week that at least four companies might bid for Telekom Srbija, without giving any further details.