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Slovenia to privatize Telekom Slovenije, Ljubljana Airport and NKBM in 2014, official says

January 21, 2014

Slovenia expects to complete the sale of listed telco Telekom Slovenije , Aerodom Ljubljana and domestic banking group NKBM during the course of 2014, Slovenia Sovereign Holding (Slovenska Odskodninska Druzba SOD) Board Member Matej Runjak said. In an interview with Intellinews at the Euromoney The Central & Eastern Europe Forum in Vienna , Runjak said that Slovenia will entertain offers from all areas of the world including bidders from the Gulf, China and Russia . He said that Slovenia Sovereign Holding has already opened talks with Telecom Italia regarding the possibility of the Italian telecommunications giant operating Telekom Slovenije on behalf of a financial investor and/or a foreign teleco. A Telecom Italia board member confirmed that the listed Itailan group is extremely interested in a turn-key contract for Telekom Slovenije and that is has been pursuing such a non-M&A strategy in a number of markets in MENA, Central and Eastern Europe and in Africa . Manjuk said at any bidder of Telecom Slovenije will be able to acquire a 100% stake in company and expects to close the transaction by year-end. He said they have already selected Citigroup as financial advisor and White & Case and Ulcar & partneriji as legal advisors for the Telecom Slovenije sale. Manjuk said that KPMG has been named overall advisor for the Ljubljana Airport privatization. The country's urgency in selling of some 15 state-controlled companies to plug the budget gap may affect the prices offered by potential buyers, Matej Pirc , another board member at the Slovenia Sovereign Holding , told this news service. But Slovenia will not settle for fire-sale prices, he added. All 15 companies are profitable and will attract financial and trade buyers from across the world, Pirc said. He expects many of the bidders to be trade investors from Western European countries, Slovenia's largest trade partners. He does not rule out bids from the Central and Eastern European region, especially from trade buyers. He has already met with potential bidders from some countries in the region. But the country is still preparing tenders for advisers for privatisation of smaller companies, including chemical companies Aero , Helios and Cinkarna Celje , he said. The other assets up for sale are: flag carrier Adria Airways and its maintenance arm Adria Tehnika , sports goods maker Elan , , laser maker Fotona , paper company Paloma , food company Žito , tool maker Unior and spa operator Terme Olimje . The Slovenia Sovereign Holding is not yet formally in place, Runjak said. It will be established by an act of parliament in near future. It will manage all state-owned assets and act as a one-stop shop for all decisions on privatisation. By PK Semler and Aleksander Nowacki in Vienna

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Source: IntelliNews - Weekly Reports

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