Further delay for Cesky sale

The on-off sale of the Czech telecoms monopoly Cesky Telecom is set for further delays as the Czech government postponed a vote on the $2bn deal.

Cesky Telecom, the Czech national telecoms operator currently the subject of interest from a number of private equity institutions around the world, has once again had its proposed sale delayed following the cancellation of a key vote by the recently-elected Czech government.

Reuters reports that the Czech government is delaying a decision on the sale in anticipation of improved results from the Czech monopoly, which was first mooted as a privatisation target at the beginning of the year.

A consortium of Deutsche Bank, TDC and Blackstone Group is thought to be offering the highest price for Cesky, which at 55 billion crowns ($1.8bn) is slightly below the $2bn threshold set down by the government. It values Cesky at 336 crowns per share, some way ahead of the current share price of 240 crowns.

The government had intimated in June that it was keen to achieve a rapid sale of Cesky, but that this would not be to the detriment of the firm’s valuation. Czech prime minister Vladimir Spidla said that he expects the vote on the sale, which would be the largest Central European transaction this year, to take place early in August.