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Serbia to Challenge Kosovo’s Telecom Sale, Saying Assets Usurped

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia said it will challenge Kosovo’s attempt to sell Posta dhe Telekomunikacioni i Kosoves Sh.A. phone company, claiming ownership over assets created before Kosovo’s 2008 secession from the Balkan nation.

Serbia, which refuses to recognize the breakaway province as a state, reacted to Kosovo’s announcement last week that it got a 277 million-euro ($365 million) offer for a 75 percent stake in the landline and mobile services provider known as PTK from ACP Axos Capital GmbH from Germany and Phoenix, Arizona-based Najafi Cos LLC allied with BT Group Plc.

The sale is conducted by “illegal bodies, without authorization or participation by the actual owner,” Serbia’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija said on its website. It said the assets belong to Belgrade-based, state-owned Telekom Srbija AD, the Serb monopoly until the 1998-99 war over Kosovo, and warned about “legal consequences” if the assets are divested.

PTK has about 1 million mobile and 100,000 landline users in the nation of 1.8 million people. It’s Kosovo’s second attempt to sell the profitable Pristina-based company after a tender failed in 2011 over a corruption investigation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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