Slovak Telecom (ST), the top-ranked provider of wireline services in Slovakia, unveiled plans on Wednesday to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) of government-held shares that constitute a 49% stake in the carrier. 

In addition to operating a network that serves 1.163 million fixed line voice, broadband and pay television customers, ST also ranks as the nation’s second-largest provider of wireless services with 2.2 million subscribers.  Deutsche Telekom (DT) holds the remaining 51% stake in ST, and an ST news release states that DT “is not offering any shares . . . and has stated its intention to retain its 51% shareholding” in the company. 

Although details on prices and timing were not disclosed by ST, Slovak government officials have indicated their desire to complete the offering by the end of this year and to raise upwards of U.S. $1 billion for the stake.  Shares will be listed on the Bratislava Stock Exchange, and an application will be made for the admission of global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange.  The offering will also be extended to investors in Slovakia and the Czech Republic and to institutional investors in other jurisdictions.  Asserting that, “through significant capital investment, improved efficiency and enhanced capability we now have an integrated offering enabling us to deliver higher value services and premium content,” STT CEO Miroslav Majoros predicted that the IPO “will mark an important next step in our development.”