Monday, December 03, 2007

Melngailis kicked -- it's semioffical

Acting Latvian economics minister (and Minister of Justice) Gaidis Berzins told journalists he saw no legal or economic reason to extend the tenure of Lattelecom CEO Nils Melngailis. Berzins qualified the statement by saying it was his personal view, but the ministry he heads (after the resignation of Minister of Economics Jurijs Strods) is the holder of the state's 51 % share in Lattelecom. This effectively torpedos the LVL 290 million management-employee buy-out that Melngailis had proposed as a way of breaking the defacto deadlock and uncertainty the company faced because of its unresolved ownership issues. TeliaSonera, which owns 49 % of Lattelecom was told that the government would not sell it the rest of the company. The Swedish group has been asking for years to get 100 % or at least a majority in both Lattelecom and Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT), where it currently indirectly (through a proportional share of Lattelecom's 23 % of LMT ) holds a majority. It appears the Latvian government, which will resign on December 5, will not do....whatever...

3 comments:

Apollo in the making said...

This is a message to the morons currently and supposedly in charge of the Latvian Government - congratulations (if it happens) on dispensing with he best Telecomms CEO in the Baltics, and just watch the value of Lattelecom disappear through the floor. As for Skele - well he has proved that the could not run a piss up in brewery, or was that Latvia ?

Anonymous said...

I very strongly suspect that the reason why Melngailis might be kicked out and the Lattelecom privatization stopped is because TB/LNNK have not been paid their share. Several years ago, when I was attempting to bring investments into Latvia, a very reliable source told me not to waste my time unless I am prepared to pay this party a lot of cash up front. Since this party has been the most vocal opponent of the privatization and now wishes to get rid of Melngailis, my suspicion seems very plausible. Does anyone have similar experiences with them? Thy may be laughing all the way to the bank, since the focus is off them and onto Skele.

Anonymous said...

not surprised at all, typical TeliaSonera's mafia style doing business