As expected, Cabinet yesterday decided to sell at least a 51% stake to a strategic investor. The 51% stake will either be the government’s entire 51% stake in Cesky Telecom, or a stake that is composed partially (34%) of the government’s stake and partially (17%) of the stake held by TelSource/KPN. According to the Cabinet's decision, the Finance Ministry is scheduled to recommend a buyer for the 51% stake to Cabinet by the end of June 2001. This is a somewhat faster privatization schedule than we expected.
Separately, the cellular operator EuroTel, 51% owned by CT, yesterday announced that the number of its customers exceeded 2.0 million last week. We expected EuroTel to reach this user number slightly later, and we will increase our year-end projection of EuroTel users (particularly given that the strong Christmas season has not yet finished).