The US investment fund Colbeck Capital has reportedly submitted the highest bid for a 58% stake in Telekom Srbija. A number of Belgrade-based media reports suggest that Colbeck’s EUR1.47 billion (USD1.57 billion) offer is EUR170 million higher than the next biggest bid, and is considered ‘satisfactory’ by the Serbian government. Colbeck Capital’s bid is supported by fellow US investment fund Yucaipa and also has the backing of Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Raiffesen Bank International.
The stake reportedly received formal interest from six bidders, namely: Colbeck, Advent International, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Mid Europa Partners (MEP), the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Telekom Slovenije. Interested parties that fell by the wayside prior to the final bidding round included the likes of Deutsche Telekom (DT), Turkcell and Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) of Russia.
Outside of its domestic market where it operates under the MTS name, Telekom Srbija is active in Montenegro and Bosnia, where it trades under the m:tel brand name.