A National Property Fund spokeswoman announced yesterday that the Ceske radiokomunikace privatization committee has short-listed four bidders. No names were released. Some sort of announcement was expected following the December 4 deadline for preliminary bids. Six potential bidders expressed preliminary interest earlier this year: TeleDanmark, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, Vivendi, Emerging Markets Partnership, and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst.
The Czech HN business daily today quotes unnamed sources as saying that Deutsche Telekom has pulled out of the Ceske radiokomunikace tender, but this has not been officially confirmed (it could be that Deutsche Telekom is now eyeing the Cesky Telecom tender). We feel that four bidders would still make the tender competitive, i.e., the reduction from six to four is not bad news. The four short-listed bidders are supposed to submit binding bids in January 2001, and a tender winner should be selected by the end of January. The stock marginally gained on the above announcement yesterday, but closed weaker, in line with the market.