Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were shortlisted to advise Slovakia on a 1 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) sale of the country’s largest phone company.
The government’s National Property Fund, which oversees state-asset sales, will by the end of May pick one or both banks to advise on the sale of a 49 percent stake in Slovak Telekom AS, Miriam Ziakova, a spokeswoman for the fund, said by phone today. The sale will be completed by the end of the year, she said. Deutsche Telekom AG owns 51 percent of the company.
Slovakia is selling assets to raise funds for cutting public debt, which last year exceeded 55 percent of gross domestic product. The Finance Ministry estimates that Slovak Telekom’s sale will bring in the equivalent of 1.3 percent of GDP next year, according to its budgetary framework for 2015 posted on the government’s website last month. The ministry forecasts 2015 nominal GDP at 77.8 billion euros.
The government prefers to sell its shares in an initial public offering, according to a memorandum between the state and Deutsche Telekom. The German operator, which bought its stake in the former fixed-line monopoly in 2000, has a pre-purchase right if a direct sale to an investor is chosen, the memorandum says.