Stanislav Vanek, director of the Telecom Ministry's Regulatory Department.
photo: Chris Togneri
The Deutsche Bank consortium won the bid over two other consortiums, one headed by Solomon Brothers and the other by Rothschilds, said Stanislav Vanek, director of the ministry's regulatory department.
"The privatisation of ST will be achieved by offering a foreign investor a 34 to 49% share of the company through an increase in share assets," said Peter Druga, the Ministry's Telecommunications Policy Department Director. Revenues in the "hundreds of million dollars" for the state are expected by Palacka as the result of the ST privatisation.
Vanek explained that while the official victor of the tender to arrange the sale had been Deutsche Bank, the domestic partner was determined solely by the German bank.
Peter Gabalec, general director of Slávia Capital, said that his firm had applied for the tender with Deutsche Bank and that the two would delegate privatisation duties equally. "We will be helping Deutsche Bank with all domestic problems and research," Gabalec told The Slovak Spectator. "We will cooperate with them and we will each be responsible for 50% of the work."
The ministry's timetable for ST's privatisation calls for the announcement of the tender on July 1. The cabinet would then decide on the winner of the tender by the end of November with the foreign partner officially entering the company in January, 2000. The preparation of the tender, said the Ministry's Vanek, started immediately after Deutsche Bank was nominated. "The consortium held their first meetings on 5 May," he said. "They began a schedule of operation on how to achieve the tender on time."
Gabalec, meanwhile, said that the two firms were intent on keeping the deadlines. "We are under a lot of pressure to do so, and we are working very hard to fulfil the deadlines."
Foreign investors rumoured to be interested in becoming the strategic partner of ST include Tele Danmark, Deutsch Telecom and French Telecom. Originally, various Korean groups were also reported to be interested, but Boris Kostík, an analyst for Slávia Capital, said in a recent interview with The Slovak Spectator that the investor would most likely be European "because they should have regional experience."