Telekom Slovenija Must Pay Greek Partner in Media Venture €17.6m + Interest

By , 04 Nov 2019, 12:57 PM Business

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STA, 4 November 2019 - Telekom Slovenije, the telecoms incumbent, has been ordered to pay EUR 17.6 million plus default interest to its Greek partner in a media joint venture that the Greeks have long sought to exit.

Telekom had partnered with Antenna Group in 2013 to forge a joint venture that produces Planet TV, a small commercial TV station that has been in the red ever since it launched.

In several steps over the past few years Telekom gradually increased its ownership stake from the initial 51% as it recapitalised the loss-making company, most recently called Antenna TV SL.

The Greeks eventually wanted to exit the joint venture in accordance with a put option, but the two partners had not been able to reach an agreement and resorted to arbitration.

Telekom said Monday that the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce decided on 31 October that Antenna Group had exercised its put option correctly.

The company now has to pay Antenna Group EUR 17.6 million for its remaining 34% stake in the joint venture plus the costs of arbitration.

Telekom was represented by the Swiss law firm Umbricht. "The costs of counselling and of business and legal experts hired by the firm amounted to EUR 1.2 million, the arbitration fee to EUR 200,000, the total costs of the counterparty to EUR 1.1 million, and default interest has to date amounted to EUR 2.8 million," Telekom said in response to a query by the STA.

The dispute between the two partners stemmed from differing valuations of the company: Telekom valued it at under EUR 17 million and Atenna Group at EUR 88 million. The arbiters sided with Antenna.

Antenna TV SL, the company in question, reported revenue of EUR 13.5 million for 2018, up from under EUR 10 million in the year before. It reduced its net loss by almost half from 2017 to EUR 3.8 million.

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