Serbia extends deadline for TA

Telekom Austria AG (TA) has been given more time to improve its offer to take over a leading Serbian mobile services firm.The Serbian government – which holds 80 per cent in Telekom Srbija – said yesterday (Tues) it decided to give TA the chance to increase their takeover bid until 3 May.The Viennese telecommunications provider told Serbian decision-makers last month it was ready to transfer between 800 million and 950 million Euros for a 51 per cent share. TA told the country’s government it would pour 450 million Euros into the company in the next three years if its offer was accepted. The politicians decided to reject the suggestion although the Austrian market leader was the only company with interest.Major mobile services firms from Germany, Turkey and France eventually decided not to hand in an offer after having competed in the public tender. The Serbian government told the companies it wanted at least 1.4 billion Euros in return for the majority share in Telekom Srbija.TA – which is headed by Hannes Ametsreiter  – has 21 million customers across Europe. It had a turnover of 4.65 billion Euros and earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) of 437.9 million Euros in 2010. The Republic of Austria holds 28.4 per cent in TA via ÖIAG, the Federal Industry-Holding Stock Corporation.One TA share was valued at 10.25 Euros at the Vienna Stock Exchange’s (WBAG) Prime Market at 3pm today, down from 10.35 Euros on 29 March.