Nov 18 2014
The Gibraltar Government will pay €47.7million to buy Telekom Slovenije’s 50% stake in Gibtelecom, in a move that will make it the sole shareholder.
The deal, which will be completed next month, comes against background of the ongoing sale of the Slovenian group and will give the government strategic control over Gibtelecom’s future.
“In the light of the ongoing sale of the Telekom Slovenije group, this shares buy-back enables the Government to influence the way forward on the ownership of a communications business that plays an important role for Gibraltar in today’s digital economy,” said Gibtelecom’s Chairman and Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia.
“The Government did not want to leave the decision on a future strategic partner for Gibtelecom to be driven by others outside Gibraltar, as part of a wider sale of the Telekom Slovenije business.”
Speaking at the signing of the share purchase agreement yesterday, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the Government is now looking for a new partner but would not rush the decision.
The transaction to purchase Telekom Slovenije’s is due to be completed at a Gibtelecom board meeting scheduled to be held in December.
“For Gibtelecom, it is business as usual and we expect to continue to operate with the Government as its sole shareholder on an arm’s length basis as is now the case,” a spokesman for the company said.
Gibtelecom staff were briefed on the shareholder change yesterday by Tim Bristow, Gibtelecom’s Chief Executive Officer, and Adrian Moreno, Chief Operations Officer.
Rudolf Skobe, President of the Telekom Slovenije Management Board, said the Gibraltar Government and the two companies had been “great partners” for over seven years.
“We are proud to have been a part of the Gibtelecom success story,” he said.
“It makes sense for Gibraltar to determine what happens next to Gibtelecom.”