UP TO 65 PER CENT OF BTC TO BE PUT UP FOR SALE
A strategy for the privatisation of the state telecom monopoly Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) would likely envisage the sale of up to 65% stake in the company through a two-stage tender, the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Plamen Petrov said at a news conference on January 16. Deutsche Bank is the sale consultant of the BTC. Mr. Petrov also said that financial investors, along with telecom companies, would be allowed to bid for BTC in order to attract as many as possible potential buyers in a period of a sector slump. He added that even if some of the bidders for the BTC want to acquire it without the third GSM-licence, they will be given an opportunity to participate in the privatisation tender on an equal footing with the other contenders.BTC needs almost EUR400MN in order to establish a digital network in compliance with EU standards. Part of the necessary funds will be set aside from the telecom's available resources prior its sale, Minister Petrov explained. Digitalization together with smooth hike of the tariff rates shall be among the major commitments to be required from BTC's future owner.The national telecom will be put up for sale together with the Radiotelecommunication Company Mobikom and the INTERNET provider BTC-NET.