Turkish telecom operators Turkcell and Turk Telekom said in separate filings to the Istanbul Stock Exchange that they have placed non-binding bids for Bulgaria’s second largest carrier Globul, a division of Greek Cosmote.
Turkcell disclosed its bid on November 20, saying that it was exploring investment opportunities in the region. It main domestic rival, Turk Telekom, filed a similar disclosure on November 21, saying that it was part of its strategy for regional expansion.
Both companies have made in the past attempts to acquire Bulgaria’s former fixed-line monopoly Bulgarian Telecommunications Company. Turk Telekom was on the losing side twice, in 2004 and 2007, while Turkcell’s attempt earlier this year also fell short.
Cosmote’s parent company, Greek telecoms operator OTE, has put Globul for sale in June in an attempt to raise cash needed to repay debt maturing in the next two years, retaining Citigroup as an adviser for the sale. The deadline for preliminary bids, according to reports in Bulgarian media, is November 30.
In August, Deutsche Telekom chief financial officer Timotheus Hoettges said that his company could be interested in buying Globul. Deutsche Telekom is also the largest shareholder in OTE, holding 40 per cent of the Greek company’s stock.
Globul is for sale alongside Germanos Bulgaria, the local subsidiary of the Greek handsets retail chain, also owned by Cosmote.
Reports in Bulgarian media have also identified Norway’s Telenor, as well as several financial investors, as prospective bidders for Globul.