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June 2, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:44pm

SERBIA AND ITALY’S STET ON VERGE OF PRIVATIZATION DEAL

By CBR Staff Writer

Confirming suspicions that the deal was already done despite the protestation to the contrary, state-run Serbian telecommunications firm Telekom Srbija and state-controlled Italian telecommunications company Stet SpA, are said to be signing a$920m privatization deal, Beta news agency reports. However, the move is only worthy of the term privatization if the expected sell-off of Stet by the Italian government goes ahead, which is due by the fall. Previously the Serbian government was tight-lipped as to whether it had a preferred candidate, saying all foreign interests would be treated equally But now, the government, which owns Telekom Srbija, appears to have agreed to most of the terms put forward by Stet including the price. It should receive $587m in cash immediately after wrapping up the deal and the remaining $333m through two installments by January 1, 1998. Telekom Srbije made no comment on the agreement but a Stet spokesman in Rome said: Yes, we are interested and, yes we are talking.

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