OTE says ‘no talks’ about selling Telekom Romania to Vivacom controller

25 January 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Greek operator OTE has denied reports that it is negotiating to sell its interest in Telekom Romania to a Bulgarian businessman.

Earlier this week reports in Bulgaria said that Spas Rusev, the largest shareholder in Bulgaria’s Vivacom and the buyer of Telekom Albania, wanted to buy Telekom Romania, based in Bucharest, and Makedonski Telekom, based in Skopje, from OTE, which is 45% owned by Deutsche Telekom.

Now OTE has told south-eastern European media that OTE “has not entered negotiations with a third party”.

SeeNews quotes OTE as saying: “As is our common practice, we will notify the authorities and the public if and when we have something to announce.”

Analysts will note that this is not an outright denial that OTE might be willing to talk – and Rusev did just say he’d like to buy OTE’s Romanian and Macedonian subsidiaries. It may just be that he hasn’t yet picked up the phone.

OTE announced the sale of Telekom Albania to Rusev’s company nine days ago. Rusev and his fellow shareholder, named as Elvin Guri, have agreed to pay €50 million for the business.