CORPORATE BRIEFS

Palacka signs telecom sale advisory agreement with Deutsche Bank

Telecom Minister Gabriel Palacka signed an agreement on June 11 with the representatives of a consortium led by Deutsche Bank on legal and financial advisory services for the entry of a strategic partner into state telecom monopoly Slovenské Telekomunikácie (ST). The agreement obliges Deutsche Bank to provide advisory services to maximize ST's value and to prepare a sales strategy in accordance with the ministry's plans, ministry spokesman Pavol Prikryl said.

Following the signing, Deutsche Bank director general for central and eastern Europe Michael Fotier said the bank had already been contacted by parties interested in becoming strategic investors in ST. This, according to Fotier, confirms that international perception of Slovakia has changed for the better.

The consortium also includes brokerage houses Slávia Capital and Wood & Co. as financial advisors and White & Case as legal advisor.

The ST privatisation tender should be announced on July 1 this year. Palacka said that the amount of money the sale would bring into state coffers would depend on the date of the transaction and the size of the share the foreign investor will gain in ST. Palacka recently indicated that he expects proceeds in the range of hundreds of million dollars.

The foreign partner will enter ST in the form of an increase in share assets while the buyer should obtain a stake from 34 to 49%. The cabinet will decide on the winner of the tender by the end of November, and the foreign partner should enter the company from January 2000.

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