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Telekom Austria Refrains from an Acquisition of Telekom Srbija

Published: June 16, 2011; 15:57 · (Vindobona)

For the time being, the Austrian telecommunications group has no intention to pursue a deal with the Serbian government after negotiations had failed in May.

Telekom Austria Refrains from an Acquisition of Telekom Srbija / Picture: © Telekom Austria Group

“There is no news in this matter. I assume that there won’t be any changes in the situation before the elections next year” stated CEO Hannes Ametsreiter. As the last potential buyer running for an acquisition, Telekom Austria Group offered up to € 1.1bn for Telekom Srbija. The Serbian government, however, did not want to sell the company for a price lower than € 1.4bn, probably also due to the upcoming election campaign. After several deadline extensions and improved bids by Telekom Austria, the government finally decided to stop the negotiations and to put the privatization plan on hold.

Telekom Austria is now looking for other potential acquisition targets in Eastern Europe. “There are one or two interesting things, but nothing concrete yet”, Ametsreiter said. Just at the beginning of June the group announced the takeover of the Croatian cable operator B.net for € 93m which will be concluded in the second half of the year.

In Austria, the group combined its mobile communications and fixed net services under the common A1 brand this week. This step is expected to result in 20% savings of advertising costs. The group’s subsidiaries in CEE will retain their local brand names.