MARIUS BOSTAN, MCSI:"We cannot sell the stake in Telekom at just any price"

ADINA ARDELEANU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 8 februarie 2016

"We cannot sell the stake in Telekom at just any price"

"We want to make Telekom România more transparent"

Communications minister Marius Bostan hints that it will take some time until the privatization of the stake that the state holds in Telekom România (former Romtelecom), because the authorities have not yet selected the appropriate method - sale or IPO. Furthermore, the minister says that he first of all wants to increase the value of the company, because it has a "fantastic" potential, and the company is not currently looking "the way it should".

When asked what the status of the privatization of the 45.99% stake that the state holds in the former Romtelecom, Mr. Bostan said: "Consultants are working, we are in the midst of a process. There isn't much I can tell you. There are advanced technical discussions taking place between our consultants and the OTE consultants.

We are waiting to pick the best solution. The goal is to sell, but we cannot sell at just any price and we have not selected the privatization solution.

We want to do it in a way that we get the best value for our shares. This is my goal. To raise the value of the shares that we own".

Greek group OTE holds 54.01% of the shares of Telekom România.

"I think that Telekom has a fantastic potential", the minister further said, and he explained: "It has an impressive number of customers, it has a range of services, it is developing new technologies. Perhaps it isn't looking the way it should. Perhaps there are some unhappy customers. I think that there is an inflection point after the coming of the new team. I am convinced a more aggressive approach in the company's business plan is needed and we will be seeking solutions, throughout this year, to find new ways for growth.

We can not come before investors without a dividend policy and take the company public. We are building! Things are in an ongoing process. We can not announce a deadline (ed. note: for the privatization). It is up to the market, it is up to the overall economic situation. We have a very important share in that company and it is a very important strategic decision".

Still, the minister has said that he wants the company to get listed: "We want to make Telekom România more transparent, because this company is not very transparent at the moment, because it isn't listed".

At the end of last year, the "BURSA" newspaper wrote that "Telekom România Communications", the former Romtelecom, has not submitted its balance sheet for 2014 within the delays required by the law, which is why it has been fined, according to information provided by the National Tax Administration (ANAF).

Marius Bostan says that the relationships between the shareholders are currently being reset: "I have faith in this company and I know its capabilities.

We are trying to rebuild and to reset our relationships (ed. note: between the shareholders). We are building a relationship of respect and trust in the coming year".

At the end of last year, the Telekom Romania group of companies has announced the appointment of Miroslav Majoro¹ as CEO, starting with January 1st, 2016, to replace Nikolai Beckers.

Mr. Bostan did not want to suggest a price for the stake that the state holds in Telekom România: "I won't venture to give a number. I have an evaluation, but please don't ask me to mention it. There are talks between consultants, I wouldn't want to influence those".

Former Communications Minister, Răzvan Cotovelea, was estimating the value of the government's stake in Telekom somewhere between 300 and 600 million Euros.

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