The Czech government has confirmed that it has chosen two groups to advance in a tender for a majority stake in the country's main fixed line operator, Cesky Telecom.
Finance Minister Jiri Rusnok has announced that the consortium comprising Deutsche Bank, investment firm Blackstone Group and Danish operator TDC was one of the two chosen to submit a final bid on 26 April.
The other bidder is a consortium of CVC Capital, Spectrum Equity Partners and Swiss national operator Swisscom. The two consortia are looking to acquire the 51 per cent stake held by the Czech government and a 27 per cent owned by a division of KPN and Swisscom.
The bids by the two groups were up to ten per cent above current market value, although still below the 45 per cent premium stated by the government to be the minimum price.
The Czech prime minister Milos Zeman has stated that any bid for the government’s 51 per cent shareholding in the firm which falls below $2.3bn will be rejected. The Deutsche consortium values the government stake at $1.7bn. Prime Minister Zeman has stated that privatisation of Cesky will be postponed if the target price is not reached.