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State contemplates sale of Globtel shares

The Slovak Economy Ministry announced April 7 that it is preparing the sale of a 36% stake in one of two GSM operators in Slovakia - Globtel GSM. The Ministry has asked eight investment banks and companies with representatives in Slovakia to submit tenders, from which a ministry's commission should select a manager for the sale of the stake.
"The Economy Minister requested banks to submit their projects containing price assessment, the method of the sale, the time-table for realization of the transfer of the shares and other details by Monday, April 12. The bank with the best offer will manage the sale," Economy Ministry spokeswoman Alica Ďurianová said.
She did not specify the date when the ministry should announce the winner.

The Slovak Economy Ministry announced April 7 that it is preparing the sale of a 36% stake in one of two GSM operators in Slovakia - Globtel GSM. The Ministry has asked eight investment banks and companies with representatives in Slovakia to submit tenders, from which a ministry's commission should select a manager for the sale of the stake.

"The Economy Minister requested banks to submit their projects containing price assessment, the method of the sale, the time-table for realization of the transfer of the shares and other details by Monday, April 12. The bank with the best offer will manage the sale," Economy Ministry spokeswoman Alica Ďurianová said.

She did not specify the date when the ministry should announce the winner.

The state controls the 36% stake through several Slovak utilities companies. Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (Slovak Gas Company - SPP) owns a 6.83% stake, Slovenské Elektrárne (Slovak Power Plants - SE) holds a 18.91% stake, and power distributors Západoslovenské, Stredoslovenské and Východoslovenské Energetické závody own 10.26% in total.

The biggest stake in Globtel is held by France Telecom Mobiles International, while Slovak company Slovtel controls the remaining 29%.

Globtel spokesperson Dagmar Brisudová said the company has asked the Ministry of Transportation, Postal Services and Telecommunications to consider allowing a change in the shareholder structure in the future.

"We were not asking to allow a specific change in shareholders, but rather to allow that possibility in the future," she said. She added that the ministry has set a condition that 25% of Globtel remain owned by a Slovak entity.

Two companies compete for the mobile telephone market in Slovakia. EuroTel Bratislava (in which the state-owned Slovak Telecom holds 60% while U.S. West Media Group Inc. and Bell Atlantic Corp. share the remaining 40%) started its operation in GSM network in February 1997, while Globtel GSM began in January 1997.

The condition of the Telecom Ministry for operators of mobile networks was that Slovak entities would control at least a 60% stake in an operator. In early November, EuroTel Bratislava posted more than 235,000 clients in its both networks (NMT and GSM). Globtel claims it currently has over 375,000 mobile subscribers.

The Telecom Ministry has declared an international tender for the provision of a GSM 1800 MHz mobile network national license. The tender will have two rounds (qualification and auction round) and the license should be awarded by April 26.

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