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Telekom Boss Says Merger with Mobitel Urgent

Ljubljana, 24 April (STA) - The chairman of telco Ivica Kranjcevic told the Saturday supplement of Dnevnik that the gravity of the situation at Telekom does not allow any further delays in terms of restructuring, which should notably also include a merger with the company's mobile arm, Mobitel.

The longer the merger of Telekom with Mobitel, Slovenia's biggest mobile operator, is postponed, the more radical the measures accompanying this will have to be, Kranjcevic, who took over in mid-March, said.

According to him, readiness for cooperation - the merger efforts of his predecessor Bojan Dremelj failed because of resistance on the part of the Mobitel team - is much bigger now than four years ago.

"Despite of all the complications, the view has matured to a certain extent that it will be necessary to cooperate, to establish connections and make a joint showing on the market."

Kranjcevic said that technological change and competition was having a negative affect on practically all of Telekom's financial indicators, which is why restructuring is urgent for survival.

Telekom's boss, who served as Mobitel's technical director four years ago, believes that a similar situation is awaiting Mobitel, as the era when one could charge by the minute is drawing to a close.

While explaining that the plan was to merge by 1 January, Kranjcevic said that this was not carved in stone, since the restructuring process was too important to simply say that "the world will collapse if we do not merge by the end of the year".

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