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In next six months, clearer vision on future of Tet and LMT is necessary – Valainis

A clearer vision on the future of the companies Tet and Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) should be obtained in the next six months, Economic Minister Viktors Valainis (Greens/Farmers) said in an interview with LETA.

Both companies are owned by the Public Asset Manager Possessor (Possessor), which is supervised by the Economics Ministry.

Valainis pointed out that a tender for consultants is currently being carried out, after which it is planned to assess the next steps together with professionals.

“Ever since I can remember myself in politics, everyone has always had an opinion on what should be done with Tet and LMT and what should be done with their foreign shareholders. That is why I want to refrain from any comments at the moment and wait for a professional assessment of what would be the best way forward for us as a country,” said Valainis.

At the same time, he stressed that the process is not simple, because “my predecessors in the 1990s put together something very difficult to explain and we have to put it into an understandable model that could work in the future”.

As for the partial listing of Tet and LMT shares on the stock exchange, which could be initiated by the Finance Ministry, Valainis said that it was necessary to wait for the consultants’ assessment and then further conclusions could be drawn.

“In any case, I am convinced that we cannot afford to maintain the status quo situation, because it is not in Latvia’s interest,” Valainis said.

As reported, in November 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers decided that Tet and LMT would not be merged. In July 2018, however, then Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers), and the President of Telia Company, Johan Dennelind, signed a memorandum of understanding on the further development of Tet and LMT.

The signatories undertook to develop a common strategy for achieving synergies between Tet and LMT, including the development and implementation of a strategy for next-generation communication systems, the creation of innovative excellence, and active cooperation with science in this process.

It is also reported that on August 23, 2018, Kucinskis issued a decree establishing a working group to ensure that the interests of Latvia are represented in the development and implementation of a common corporate strategy for Tet and LMT, as well as in its financing.

However, at the end of 2019, the coalition forming the government decided not to address the future of Tet and LMT at this time.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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