Monday, March 17, 2008

Decision -- on April Fool's Day ??:)

It now looks like a government decision on the privatization or nationalization or continued muddlization of Lattelecom will take place at a government meeting on April 1, not March 18, as previously thought.
The government may have been blindsided by Minister of Transport Ainars Slesers sudden announcement that he backed the nationalization of the fixed network operator by swapping the 49 % stake in Lattelecom held by TeliaSonera for 23 % of mobile operator LMT held by the Latvian State Radio and Television Center (LVRTC).
The other offers on the table, at least nominally, are TeliaSonera buying out all of Lattelecom and LMT for LVL 500 million (you don't often see that much cash on the card table in these parts) as well as a clinically dead offer by The Blackstone Group to buy the TeliaSonera stake and somehow roll the rock from the tomb and bring back Nils Melngailis as CEO.
I hope Nils has been having job interviews, YGTBFC* to come back to this. In fact, even with ironclad management contracts, Blackstone has to be PFC** to even think about sharing ownership with the Latvian government.
I think the April Fool's joke will be that the muddle will continue. The only one who made a decision before Easter was Melngailis and some others at Lattelecom who are departing on that very day, April 1, no joke.
And then there was the move by the Bulldozer (as Slesers was portrayed in 2006 campaign posters). Dramatic, decisive, probably totally batshit.

*you gotta be fuckin' crazy

**pretty fuckin' crazy

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