Five serious bidders for Telecom

The Czech financial group PPF, together with Slovakia's J and T and Inway, has placed the highest bid in a tender for the state's 51% stake in the telecommunications operator Telecom, according to an unnamed source close to the commission assessing the bids. Under the conditions of the tender, financial groups were not allowed to bid alone but had to team up with telecom operators. The source said five bidders had placed bids, some of them offering more than 69 billion crowns -around 3 billion US dollars for the majority share in Telecom. The ministerial commission which assessed the bids on Monday has recommended that the Cabinet should consider all five offers. The government has retained the option of selling the shares on financial markets if no direct sale has been agreed by the end of March.