Slovakia’s government will sell its 49% stake in full-service operator Slovak Telekom by the fourth quarter of this year via the stock market, it was confirmed on Friday by the country’s economic minister Tomas Malatinsky. Slovak Telekom’s majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom holds the right of first refusal on the stake but has not yet publicly decided whether it will buy additional shares. Having privately signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Deutsche Telekom allowing the state to proceed with a sale, the minister was quoted by Reuters as saying: ‘Now advisers and investment banks will be selected, and the state can sell its stake through an initial public offering [IPO] within nine months.’ On the same day, Economy Ministry spokesman Stanislav Jurikovic responded to opposition claims of non-transparency by saying that there was ‘no problem’ with making the MoU public, although adding that permission must first be given by Deutsche Telekom. According to the SME news agency, the state’s plan involves an evaluation of the government’s 49% stake by an external advisor to arrive at a final purchase value, after which the German parent group will decide whether it wishes to buy it or not. In the case of refusal, Slovakia aims to launch an IPO on the London stock exchange.
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