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ETL: Estonian state to accept the cash offer for Eesti Telekom shares

Spekuliantai.lt | 2009-09-23 | NASDAQ OMX biržų naujienos | perskaitė: 914
Raktiniai žodžiai: Eesti Telekom, ETL
ETL: Estonian state to accept the cash offer for Eesti Telekom shares

Eesti Telekom Company Announcement 23.09.2009

Estonian state to accept the cash offer for Eesti Telekom shares

The Government of Estonia has in principle decided to sell its holding in AS
Eesti Telekom. The Minister of Finance will formally propose the Government
meeting on Thursday to accept TeliaSonera's cash offer of EEK 93 per each Eesti
Telekom share, provided the company pays out extraordinary dividends of
approximately EEK 7 per this year and agrees to pay out 100 percent of the
retained earnings of preceding year during the next three years.

According to Mr Jürgen Ligi, Estonian Minister of Finance, the rationale for the
transaction was thoroughly assessed. “We used an international advisor, who,
applying a range of methods, assessed the offer in relation to the fair value of
the shares. Another consideration was the impact on the fiscal balance and in
that respect the agreement reached to pay extraordinary dividends this year and
maximum dividends during the next three years is of utmost importance to us,”
said Minister Jürgen Ligi. “The state has no strategic interest in having a
holding in one of the telecommunications companies, in fact the holding is at
odds with the role of the government as a regulator and supervisor of fair
competition.”

Including the shares to be recalled from the Estonian Development Fund, the
state would receive a little more than EEK 4 billion from the cash offer,
extraordinary dividends and income tax on dividends. “These funds would allow
the state to borrow less or keep higher reserves. According to current forecast
there will be a saving on interest costs of EEK 260 million annually,” the
Minister said.

The extraordinary dividend pay-out would provide EEK 518 million towards
balancing the budget. “A commitment to a dividend policy in the near future is
important for the state in terms of planned income tax revenues. At the same
time there are no guarantees regarding the share price or the profitability of
the company, which constitutes a risk in the long term,” added Jürgen Ligi.

The Republic of Estonia owns 24% and the Estonian Development Fund 3% of Eesti
Telekom shares. The state has received EEK 2.18 billion in dividends from the
shares, with an additional EEK 126.2 million to the Estonian Development Fund.
Additionally the state has received income tax associated with dividends paid to
Eesti Telekom shareholders totalling EEK 2.53 billion since 2004.

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