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NKBM and Telekom Nearing Sale, Several Bids on the Table

Ljubljana, 08 October (STA) - Several investors have submitted bids for NKBM bank and Telekom Slovenije, the two biggest firms slated for privatisation, POP TV reported Wednesday. The Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH) has received at least two binding bids for NKBM while four or five investors are still in the race for Telekom.

The report suggests the OTP, Hungary's biggest bank, is offering EUR 300-350m while Apollo, a private equity fund, submitted a rival bid for NKBM.

While not confirming who the bidders are, SDH board member Matej Runjak told the broadcaster the goal was to seal the deal as soon as possible.

A draft agreement has already been sent to the potential investors. After the bids are reviewed, negotiations will start, he said.

Telekom Slovenije is in the cross-hairs of four or five bidders, including mayor players that are offering over a billion euros for the 72% stake.

POP TV names these bidders as being two private equity funds, Apax and Bain Capital, and the company tipped as the top favourite, Deutsche Telekom.

The representatives of all bidders will meet the management in early November and get the latest performance data.

The news comes after Prime Minister Miro Cerar dispelled lingering doubts about the Telekom privatisation.

He had initially spoke out against it and subsequently proposed splitting the company to infrastructure and services, but last week he said the privatisation would proceed as originally planned.

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