Serbia upset as TA eyes Kosovan firm

Telekom Austria (TA) confirmed today (Tues) it was interested in snatching a stake in a Kosovan telecommunication firm.A spokesman for TA, which leads the Austrian mobile services market, announced the company was one of five firms which have informed the Kovovan government of their interest in the 75 per cent share of state-owned PTK on offer.Kosovan decision-makers decided last June to privatise the company. They reportedly hope to make 600 million Euros by selling three quarters of PTK.TA’s interest in the Kosovan company could cause controversy considering its part in a bidding war to take a 50 per cent stake in Serb telecommunications firm Telekom Srbija.The Vienna-based company is one of four internationally operating firms which put in their offers last month.Telekom Srbija has appealed to companies keen on getting on board to withdraw their interest in PTK.Serbia’s bid to join the European Union (EU) within the next few years has been halted by its unwillingness to acknowledge Kosovo as a free and independent country.Meanwhile, rumours that TA is considering sacking hundreds of landline experts over the coming months due to a dramatic decline in sales in this sector are lingering on.The firm, which has 16,000 employees and more than 21 million customers across Europe, suffered a 14.2 per cent decline in earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) to 300.5 million Euros year on year in the first six months of this year. TA’s turnover declined by 1.9 per cent to 1.169 billion Euros.TA announced only a few days ago that its subsidiary Mobiltel acquired a 100 per cent interest in Bulgarian firms Megalan Network AD and Spectrum Net AD for 72 million Euros.