The majority shareholder of Slovak Telekom – German company Deutsche Telekom, which owns a 51-percent stake in the country's dominant landline operator – outvoted Slovakia at the company's general meeting on Thursday, April 28, and refused to pay out undivided retained earnings and dividends worth €258 million. It did not explain its decision.
News of the unpaid dividend was provided by the Economy Ministry on the same day. The ministry owns 34 percent of Slovak Telekom, with the remaining 15 percent belonging to the Slovak Property Fund (FNM). Economy Minister Juraj Miškov (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) said that he was taken by surprise by the decision, which he views as an abuse of the dominant position of the majority stakeholder. According to him, Slovak Telekom has enough financial means at its disposal from the profits from previous periods that weren't paid out to shareholders. Miškov also pointed out that Slovakia needs every euro in can get at the moment in order to consolidate its public finances.
"Thursday's voting confirmed my conviction that Deutsche Telekom has been misusing its position as the 51-percent shareholder. Also, by taking this stance, they [Deutsche Telekom] confirmed the fact that Slovak Telekom is a golden goose that is, however, unable to lay golden eggs," said Miškov, as reported by the TASR newswire. He added there was no rational reason for the dividends from Slovak Telekom not to be paid out.
Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) said at a press conference on Thursday that he expects another round of negotiations with Deutsche Telekom to take place. Mikloš is said he remained convinced that the remaining 49-percent stake of Slovak Telekom should be sold.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
29. Apr 2011 at 10:00