And Then There Were Two

7:30 AM -- Just two bidders remain in the race to buy a 49 percent stake in Slovenia's incumbent carrier Telekom Slovenije after Magyar Telekom plc dropped out. (See Slovenia Attracts M&A Action and Magyar Out of Running.)

The remaining players are Skipti, the holding company that owns Iceland's main carrier Síminn , and a consortium of Bain Capital , Germany's Axos Capital GmbH, and Slovenian outfit BT Globalne storitve d.o.o., an affiliate of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA).

Local reports suggest the Slovenian government, which is selling the stake but still holding on to a 25 percent chunk of its national operator, will make a decision by the end of January. The winner gets a near majority holding in a carrier that is investing heavily in high-speed broadband in a small but increaisngly competitive market. (See Slovenia Snacks on Fiber Diet and Telekom Slovenije Reports H1.)

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) subsidiary Magyar Telekom, meanwhile, is looking for alternative prey in Eastern Europe. Its CFO, Thilo Kusch, told Hungarian business news outlet Portfolio.hu that Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Ukraine could provide some investment possibilities in the near future.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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