November 16 (SeeNews) - Kosovo's Economy and Finance Ministry has picked a consortium of Liechtenstein telecommunications sector adviser TelCo and Austrian legal firm Wolf Theiss to advise the planned sale of postal and telecommunications services provider PTK, the tie-in said on Monday.
The consortium said in a statement it will provide transaction advisory service aimed at structuring and executing the privatisation of Post and Telecommunications of Kosovo (PTK).
"The consortium, led by TelCo AG, will analyze options concerning privatisation of PTK and recommend a privatisation strategy that assures the highest benefits to the citizens of Kosovo," the statement said.
Among the consortium's roles will be to attract a strategic investor to carry out the necessary investment and development programmes for PTK with the goal of improving the quality, quantity and pricing of its telecommunication services.
"The privatisation of PTK is the largest transaction in Kosovo so far and is expected to bring substantial revenues for the budget of Kosovo. Our aim will be to maximise the privatisation proceeds and at the same time attract strong strategic investors who will bring investments and know-how," TelCo project director Tatjana Kucher said.
The project is expected to kick-off in this week.
PTK, set up in 1999 after the Kosovo conflict, at which time all the previous telecom assets in Kosovo were placed under its control. Currently, PTK is 100% owned by the Republic of Kosovo and its shares are held in trust by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. PTK provides mobile and fixed telephony, internet and postal services for the territory of Kosovo.
The telecom group is one of the key state-owned assets earmarked for sale by the government in Pristina.
Kosovo, where 90% of the population is ethnic Albanian and the rest are Serbs, declared its secession from Serbia in February 2008. Its independence has been recognized by more then 60 countries so far, including the U.S. and most of EU member states. Serbia, backed by its historical ally Russia, has said it would never recognise Kosovo's independence.