Bloomberg News

Fekter Says ‘New Strong Partner’ to Raise Telekom Austria Value

December 01, 2011

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Austria’s Finance Minister Maria Fekter hopes that partly state-owned Telekom Austria AG’s value will increase because of its “new strong partner.”

Investor Ronny Pecik’s RPR Privatstiftung last week acquired a 15 percent stake in the former telephone monopoly, making him the second-biggest owner after the government, which holds a 28 percent stake.

“We have a new strong partner who will bring in management know-how and I hope when we” rethink selling the government’s stake, it will be more valuable, Fekter said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Brussels yesterday, without identifying Pecik by name.

The Finance Minister is "very positive on privatization issues" and called Telekom Austria one of Austria’s "special things" that require shareholders to consider the country’s long-term interests. Austria has to prepare for future privatizations to ensure the country gets the best price for its assets, Fekter said.

Telekom Austria’s shares have declined 18 percent this year, valuing the company at 3.81 billion euros ($5.1 billion). Austria stake is “not such a huge amount that our debt will come down” should the government decide to sell, Fekter said.

OeIAG, Austria’s state assets agency which manages the government’s stake in Telekom Austria, said on Nov. 26 that it was a “stable core shareholder” in Telekom Austria.

--With assistance from Jonathan Tirone in Vienna. Editor: Zoe Schneeweiss

To contact the reporter on this story: Nejra Cehic in London at ncehic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anastasia Ellis at aclubb@bloomberg.net


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