The Deutsche Telekom - OTE group has reportedly agreed to sale stake in Telekom Romania to Orange, but they still need green right from the Romanian state, which would have pre-emption rights, sources close to the talks have told HotNews.ro. Romanian Communications minister Alexandru Petrescu offered PM Viorica Dancila on July 22 to create and coordinate a inter-ministerial group uniting representatives of multiple ministries and intelligence service and a first session of the group was called for Wednesday, September 25.
Minister Predescu called for the creation of the group which, under the coordination of PM Dancila, would bring together representatives of the ministries of Communication, Justice, Finance, the Competition Council, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE). It's purpose is to analyse and assist in the advanced process of sale by Deutsche Telekom/OTE of the stake they hold in companies in Romania, a deal which is reportedly seen by the Romanian state as having strategic interest, according to sources.
It's purpose is to protect the rightful interests of the Romanian state, to analyse the opportunity of investment and maximize the results of the transactions while not affecting national security, the sources said.
Minister Petrescu issued the request again on August 23 and now has summoned the first session of the working group for September 25, according to sources.
An industry source has told HotNews.ro that several weeks ago Orange certainly made an offer to take over fixed-line infrastructure of Telekom Romania.
- Telekom Romania is formed of the former companies Romtelecom and Cosmote.
Orange, the leader of the mobile communications market in Romania, is interested in taking over the fixed-line communications infrastructure of former Romtelecom so that it become a full provider of fixed-mobile services, as Vodafone will become after the takeover of UPC.
The former Romtelecom is controlled by Greek group OTE with a 54% stake, while the Romanian state through the Communications Ministry is a minority stakeholder with 46%. OTE is controlled by Deutsche Telekom.
Another industry source, however, claims DT struck a deal with Orange two weeks ago for the sale of the shares it holds in the former Romtelecom, but that the Romanian state has a pre-emption right clause.
Sources said DT/OTE were also interested in selling the mobile operations provided through the former Cosmote, but failed to reach an agreement with DIGI/RCS&RDS, a group controlled by businessman Zoltan Teszari, nor with Bulgarian Spas Rusev or with Russian company ER-Telecom, which is among the ten biggest telecom players in Russia.
Romanian news website Economica.net reported on August 29 that the DT group has obtained the accord for the sale of the fixed-line division, the former Romtelecom, to Orange".
HotNews.ro has requested a statement from Orange but by the time of publication of the report on the Romanian-language version of HotNews.ro the company did not answer. Orange Romania officials did not want to comment.