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FNM Approves CSFB/CS as Privatization Advisor for Sale of Cesky Telecom

Following a recommendation by the privatization commission, the National Property Fund has approved the Credit Suisse First Boston/Ceska sporitelna (CFSB/CS) consortium as the state’s advisor for the sale of its stake in dominant fixed-line operator Cesky Telecom (CT), FNM spokesperson Petra Krainova told Interfax.

The Morgan Stanley/Patria Finance consortium finished second, followed by Wood&Company/Merrill Lynch consortium, says the spokeswoman.

The adviser is charged with drafting the strategy, organization, structure and timetable for the privatization of the state’s 51 % stake in the firm, as well as the method of privatization, which has to be recommended to the government by the middle of 2004, says Krainova.

The adviser will be paid a fee ranging between 0.2 and 1.0 % of the sales price.

CT will be sold together with its wholly owned subsidiary Eurotel.

Unofficially, interest in CT has been expressed by TDC, Goldman Sachs, PPF, and Swisscom with CVC Partners.

Analysts estimate the price of the state-owned stake at between CZK 50 bn and CZK 65 bn.

(Interfax 14.v.04)

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