Monday, June 11, 2007

Lattelecom privatization may be decided June 12

The issue of Lattelecom's privatization may be decided at the regular meeting of the Latvian government on June 12. Nothing has appeared on the agenda, as yet (evening, June 11), but there appear to be three choices before the Cabinet of Ministers.

1) To approve the management/staff buy-out proposed by Lattelecom's management and, apparently, having the tacit approval of the half-mother, TeliaSonera.

2) to hold a closed auction (by invitation) to sell Lattelecom to a major international telco (assuming any show up) in the hopes of getting the maximum price.

3) to sell both Lattelecom and Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) to TeliaSonera after all, reversing the government's previous position that Lattelecom would never be sold to the Swedes.

Right now, the government is said to favor 2), the closed auction, claiming that the management buy-out (MBO) would contravene Latvian law. Strange, where was that law when the a government commission tentatively approved the MBO idea some weeks ago. One wonders...

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