Business News

Cerar Says Telekom to Be Privatised, Split Ruled Out

Ljubljana, 01 October (STA) - The privatisation of Telekom Slovenije will continue and the government has abandoned the idea to split it into infrastructure and services, Prime Minister Miro Cerar told Reuters news agency Wednesday.

"The privatization of the 15 firms, including Telekom, has to continue until it is we cannot afford to lose credibility," Cerar said.

The statement ends weeks of uncertainty over Telekom, as Cerar has initially been reserved about the privatisation, which was set in motion by the previous government.

He later backtracked but suggested the firm could be split to services and infrastructure, the latter remaining in state hands.

The idea came under heavy criticism from business organisations, who claimed that it would erode Slovenia's credibility while chasing away investors.

Cerar told Reuters today that privatisation proceeds would be used to "boost the economy and consolidate public finances...but we need to have clear criteria and know what we are selling, why and to whom."

Moreover, he suggested his government would draw up a list of companies to sell beyond the 15 the previous government slated for privatization.

The government expects to get about 700 million euros from the sale of its 72% stake in Telekom.

Several suitors have come forward and it is believed Deutsche Telekom is the most likely buyer.

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