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Telefonica prepares for stake sale of Czech Republic unit- sources

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October 14
11:21 AM 2013

Sources told Bloomberg that Telefonica was gearing up to divest its stake in the largest phone firm in the Czech Republic. Three people familiar with the situation said Telefonica was looking for a buyer to acquire the 69% stake it holds in Telefonica Czech Republic. Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Societe Generale were reportedly helping Telefonica look for a buyer. According to the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the talks, the said stake was valued at USD 3.6 billion.

According to a Banco de Sabadell Analyst Andres Bolumburu, private equity firms would be interested in the stake. He said phone carriers like Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Group would most likely not obtain approval from regulatory authorities for a takeover. Bolumburu said Telefonica would probably be able to sell the stake for an enterprise value of EUR 3 billion or USD 4.1 billion.

Telefonica entered the telecommunications market in the Czech Republic by buying shares in then state-backed monopoly Cesky Telecom in 2005. The firm purchased a controlling stake worth USD 3.6 billion stake from the Czech government.

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