Iceland Teleco, Síminn will most likely be sold this week reports Icelandic State Radio, RÚV. An exciting race is to be expected Thursday when bidding opens. RÚV reports that all bidders have had access to contracts regarding the procedures of the sale therefore the sale should be able to be completed fairly quickly. According to the bidding rules the bidders that bid within 5% of the highest bid can bid again before 17:00 on Thursday. The highest bidder can then increase his or her bid.
In May, the Icelandic government’s committee for privatization gave twelve out of fourteen applicants approval to continue to participate in the privatization process of Iceland Telco, but not all approved applicants are expected to submit binding bids. (See IR, Iceland Telco bidders revealed, May 26).
Three local groups of investors are expected to be at the forefront in the bidding process. They are: investment company Atorka Group (ICEX: ATOR), together with several Icelandic businessmen; Exista Group (largely owned by the Bakkavör brothers), Kaupthing Bank, also together with several local businessmen; and, finally, investment company Budarás (ICEX: BURD), insurance company Tryggingamidstödin (ICEX: TM), together with writer and Time Warner Executive VP Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson (see IR, July 5, Liv Ullmann makes movie in Iceland).
Stefán Jón Fridriksson, an employee of the government’s committee for privatization says in Morgunbladid today that the committee intends to choose the highest bidder.
The recent privatization of the former state banks Búnadarbanki (now part of Kaupthing) and Landsbanki has drawn heavy fire, because, among other reasons, because Landbanki was sold to the party that offered the lowest price of the three final bidders. (See IR, May 31, Privatization of banks draws heavy fire)
RÚV says it is impossible to determine how high the bidding will reach. The figure ISK 60 billion has often been mentioned.