Cesky auction cancelled

The Czech government has called off the auction for Cesky Telecom due to lower than expected valuations of the telecoms operator

After a lengthy auction process, the Czech government has announced that it will no longer be proceeding with the sale of its 51 per cent stake in national telecoms operator Cesky Telecom.

Two consortia, led by Blackstone and CVC respectively, were believed to have offered in the region of E1.9-2bn, around 10 per cent lower that the government's asking price of E2.2bn. Czech transport and communications minister Jaromir Schling confirmed yesterday that the auction will not now take place prior to the 14-15 June general elections.

The final bidding for Cesky was contested by a consortium led by Blackstone, comprising Danish telecom operator TDC and Deutsche Bank. The CVC consortium included Spectrum Equity Partners and Swisscom.

The Czech government owns 51 per cent of Cesky, with the further 27 per cent being sold being owned by Cesky's JV partner Telsource, a consortium of Swisscom and KPN of the Netherlands.