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Netia Rises to Two-Week High on Stake Sale Report: Warsaw Mover

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Netia SA rose to its highest level in two weeks after a newspaper reported Poland’s second-largest phone company hired Morgan Stanley to look for an investor to replace stakes owned by two private equity funds.

The stock advanced 4.2 percent to 4.23 zloty, its highest level since Feb. 11, in Warsaw. Shares traded were 30 percent of the three-month daily average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Morgan Stanley will look for an industry or financial investor interested in buying Netia’s shares held by private equity funds Third Avenue Management LLC and Sisu Capital Ltd., Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported today, citing people with knowledge of the deal. Third Avenue owns an 18 percent stake in the phone operator while Sisu has a 11.5 percent holding, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“The market has been speculating for years that Netia could be taken over by a new strategic shareholder, while the media have constantly discussed the never-ending interest of such parties,” Piotr Owdziej, an analyst at KBC Securities SA in Warsaw, said in a research note today. “It now seems that Netia’s management has decided to help this speculation come true.”

Malgorzata Babik, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment when contacted by phone by Bloomberg News today. Michael Wang, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley in London, also declined to comment when reached by e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Piotr Bujnicki in Warsaw at pbujnicki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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