Belarus May Lower Asking Price for MTS Stake
Published on: 18th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The Belarus government has not ruled out bowing to the inevitable and lowering the asking price for its 51% stake MTS Belarus.
The government has repeatedly failed to sell the stake when it asked for US$1 billion, and again recently failed to sell the stake at US$863 million.
"Consultations are going to take place now. We might or might not take the price down a notch but the tenders will continue," said the Vice Premier of Belarus Anatoly Kalinin.
The most recent bidding round was cancelled when no one expressed an interest in the sale.
The government has repeatedly tried to sell the stake, but practically all observers agree that the price being asked is far too high for the company. Estimates have put the value of the entire company at not much more than the price the government is seeking for the 51% stake.
Its 49% co-owner, MTS has previously indicated that it might buy the stake, but only at a sensible price, and if it were sold to a competitor, might put its stake up for sale instead.