Slovakia Seeks to Get EU1 Billion for Phone Company Stake

Slovakia expects to fetch 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) from the sale of its remaining stake in the country’s largest phone company, which is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom AG.

The sale of the state’s 49 percent stake in Slovak Telekom AS should bring in an equivalent of 1.3 percent of gross domestic product next year, the Finance Ministry estimates in the budgetary framework for 2015 posted on the government’s website. The ministry forecasts 2015 nominal GDP at 77.8 billion euros.

The east euro-area member wants to sell minority stakes in some companies to reduce its public debt, which exceeded 54 percent of GDP last year. Deutsche Telekom bought the 51 percent stake in 2000.

The Slovak government prefers to sell the stake in an initial public offering, according to a memorandum of understanding with Deutsche Telekom released Feb. 25. A direct sale to a selected investor is also an option, in which the German company would have a pre-purchase right, the memorandum said.

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