4761 - Galeria_single | MMPH

'

Prishtina, 22.01.2019 – Publicly-Owned Enterprise Kosovo Telecom J.S.C. has been facing a severe financial and operational crisis since 2015. In the last three years, annual financial losses of this enterprise vary from 8 to 52 million euros. Beyond the measures taken by the current board of directors and management, the enterprise continues to face financial losses that seriously risk its liquidity.

In the operational sense, in May 2018, the board of directors decided to initiate restructuring, and stop employment and upgrading in the company. Also, measures were undertaken for diminishing operational expenses. Moreover, a plan for emergency investments was drafted and its implementation is expected in a short period of time.

In cooperation with the company’s Board of Directors, as the Minister responsible for Publicly-Owned Enterprises, I have asked from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to provide technical assistance (as a grant) for the restructuring and repositioning of the company. The request emphasizes the fact that the Government of Kosovo, pursuant to its governance plan, envisages the privatization of this company. Also, I made it clear that improvement of the company’s performance and practices is a priority that will precede any privatization decision or other process.

EBRD has positively responded to my request, and expressed its readiness to: provide technical assistance in the restructuring phase, offer a loan of up to 25 million euro, and draft a document on steps to be taken by the Kosovo Government in the privatization of the company, which will, among other, be based on the following principles: just assessment of each offer for privatization of the Telecom, dedication and transparency in said process, encouragement of competition and review of processes and structures within Kosovo Telecom.

Further, the procedure takes into consideration the fact that to date at least 4 companies from different EU countries and the US have expressed interest for partial or complete privatization of Kosovo Telecom.

In an effort to better prepare for the process, which as noted above will only be initiated after the conclusion of restructuring and increasing the value of the company, the recommendation of the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Publicly-Owned Enterprises was approved and the government committee on privatization of this company received its proper legal authorizations.

Noteworthy, social dialogue between the shareholder and employees’ union will represent an important part of the process, similar to practices to date, in order to ensure that employees interests are properly represented in the procedure.

Meanwhile EBRD will not only ensure the conduct of a transparent process, but, more importantly, will ensure a sentiment of trust for all parties interested in the process.

'