According to todays Financial Times Swisscom remains the strong favourite in the privatisation tender for Cesky Telecom. Preliminary bids are due today by 5pm GMT.
Michael Shipton, chief strategy officer for Swisscom, told the Financial Times his company would bid alone today because of its strong financial position, and had no plans to break up Cesky Telecom's fixed and mobile arms.
TDC in the morning confirmed yesterdays rumors it wont bid for Cesky Telecom, leaving France Telecom, Vodafone of the UK, Telefónica of Spain, and Belgium's Belgacom as the only other potential contenders. Market rumors are that the premium over the market price will reportedly be lower than government hoped for.
Any information regarding the low number of bids and low price (maybe even below the current market price) could renewed pressure on the government to revert to a capital market sale. We believe that any speculation on a possible float of the state 51% stake could put significant downward pressure on the stock price in the short-term.
The cabinet is expected to approve a shortlist of bidders next Wednesday, with binding bids scheduled for the end of March.