Experts expect 92.79% of the shares of Ukrtelecom to be purchased at a price of between UAH 12 billion and UAH 15 billion.
“If no strong restricting factors are not set before a new owner, I think the State can sell Ukrtelecom at a higher price [than the starting price of UAH 10.5 billion]. The price can be UAH 12-14 billion,” said Yehor Samusenko, analyst of the Concorde Capital Company.
In his opinion, the company can be sold at a higher price if the State does not require a new owner to retain the number of employees.
Samusenko believes a new owner will be wanting to layoff nearly 30,000 employees of over 76,000 employees working for Ukrtelecom at present.
In the opinion of Stanislav Kartavykh, leading analyst of the Sokrat investment group, the starting price of UAH 10.5 billion meets the average market price at stock exchanges for the previous two months.
“The true price which can be paid for Ukrtelecom is UAH 13-15 billion,” he said.
Andrii Shevchyshyn, head of the analytical department of TASK-Invest, considers the starting price as being an optimal one. The starting price indicates that the tender will be rather transparent, according to him.
He expects the final price of Urktelecom to be higher.
“The floor threshold is UAH 12 billion and higher,” he said.
According to experts, major contenders for the purchase of the state operator include State Customs Service (Donetsk), the Alfa Group (Russia), and the Systema joint stock financial corporation (Russia). They do not exclude the participation of European mobile operators.
“Of the whole large list of [potential] purchasers I consider System Capital Management and Alfa Group the most realistic option,” said Samusenko.
In his opinion, European players surely have their interest in expansion on the telecommunication market of Ukraine. However, they will take part only in case of understandable and transparent terms.
Meantime, Taisia Shepetko, chief analyst of the Dragon Capital investment company, believes the final price of sale of Ukrtelecom is not likely to be much higher than the starting price.
The expert grounds her opinion by a fact that Ukrtelecom’s ratio between the starting price and EBITDA for 2010-2011 is three times the ratio of Russian companies.
“The starting price is rather higher even if one takes into account the bonus for the control which in some cases can be up to 20-30% of the cost of the company,” said Shepetko.
Experts named among probable European contenders the Deutsche Telekom Company. Other European mobile communication operators can also bid for Ukrtelecom.
Ukrtelecom has a 78.5% share of the fixed-line telephone market in Ukraine and provides services to over 10 million subscribers. The company also provides 3G mobile communication services of UMTS standard and the services of broadband access to the Internet.