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Ukraine approves Ukrtelekom sale

10 апреля 2008

The Ukrainian government approved Wednesday the sale of a controlling stake in fixed-line operator Ukrtelekom, in what may be the largest privatization the country has ever seen.

A starting price for the sale of a stake of almost 68% in the operator is set at 12 billion hryvnia ($2.4 billion), a government spokeswoman said.

The government expects to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion from the stake sale, Prime-Tass reported Wednesday, citing the privatization agency's deputy head, Dmytro Parfenenko. The government said February 2007 that it expected to get up to $7 billion from the sale.

The auction is expected to be announced by the end of April and to be held 75 days after that, the privatization agency said.

Ukrtelekom, which controls about two thirds of the country's fixed-line market, began providing mobile phone services in 2007 and holds a third-generation license.

For the past decade, attempts by successive Ukrainian governments to privatize Ukrtelekom have been stymied by political infighting and legal challenges. Between 2000 and 2001, the government sold about 7% in Ukrtelekom to the firm's workers and foreign investors.

After several failed attempts to sell small stakes, the government decided last year to put a 67.79% stake on the block.

Источник: Total Telecom

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