Telefonica Czech Republic AS jumped the most in 20 months after the majority owner of the country’s largest phone company was said to plan the sale of its stake.
The shares surged 6.6 percent, the most since February 2012, to 323 koruna by the end of trading in Prague today, valuing the unit at 104 billion koruna ($5.5 billion). More than 1 million securities changed hands, almost triple the three-month daily average. The stock was the best performer on the 13-member PX (PX) equity index, which rose 0.4 percent.
Spain’s Telefonica SA (TEF) hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA to help find a buyer for its 69 percent holding in the Prague-based unit, according to three people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential. Representatives for Telefonica SA, Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale declined to comment.
“The share gains are driven by speculation that, if the sale does take place, the new owner will try to buy out minority stakes,” Josef Nemy, an analyst at Komercni Banka AS, wrote in e-mailed comments. “Should the search for a buyer take more time, the Spanish company may push for an exceptionally high dividend payout.”
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