Telekom Srbija still very much remains a take-over target for A1 Telekom Austria Group (A1 TAG) despite a failed bid for a majority (51%) stake in 2011.
Speaking in the Vienna Economic Journalism Club and quoted by Novosti, A1 TAG’s CEO Alejandro Plater said the company wants to continue expanding in Central and Eastern Europe, with a particular emphasis on Serbia, Croatia and the other countries of the former Yugoslavia.
He added that he believed that international expansion is the best way to create jobs in Austria, a small market in which the company cannot reach the required size to be competitive.
Telekom Srbija operates in three regional markets – Serbia, Republika Srpska and Montenegro – and had an aggregate net profit of RSD14.95 billion (€126 million) in 2016.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, A1 TAG saw an improved bid of €1.1 billion for a 51% stake in Telekom Srbija rejected in May 2011 as it fell short of the €1.4 billion demanded by the Serbian state and Greece’s OTE, the other shareholder in Telekom Srbija.
It then dropped out of a second auction in 2015, with the sale of Telekom Srbija being eventually abandoned.
Broadband TV News notes that there was strong opposition in Serbia to the sale of Telekom Srbija in 2015 and this is still likely to be the case.