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Serbian Battle Over Mobile Phone Operator
London (ots/PRNewswire) - With Serbia still smarting from its recent set-back with the EU following its failure to hand over suspected war criminals to The Hague and the decision by Montenegro to become an independent state, the Serbian Government now has another fight on its hands, this time involving the country's leading mobile telephone operator Mobtel, which was established as the first Serbian mobile phone company in 1994.
The fight is looming between a recently established company, Mobi 63, owned by the Serbian Government and a group of Austrian businessmen, and third parties claiming to have interests in Mobtel's assets.
Mobtel was set up by the State owned company PTT and a company owned by a Serbian businessman and politician, Bogoljub Karic, and had its telecom licence cancelled and significant assets transferred to Mobi 63 by agencies of the Serbian Government. These actions have occurred along with the closure of the country's popular TV station BK TV (formerly owned by Karic). Karic is claiming that all this has come about since he came third in the 2004 Presidential elections, gaining 18.4 per cent of the vote. At the end of 2005 his poll rating had risen to 20 per cent. Since that time, Karic alleges that the government has set out to destroy him and his businesses for purely political reasons.
The loss of Mobtel's licence and the transfer of its assets at the government's instigation has led to the initiation of a battle. Recently the government published a pre-tender offer for the sale of Mobi 63, which is expected to be vigorously challenged in the courts by third parties who still claim to have interests in Mobtel's assets.
Last month, in a prominent advertisement in the Financial Times, Yucyco Limited, Mobtel's former co-owners , hit back pointing out that any bidders for Mobi 63 should be aware that the transfer of Mobtel's assets to Mobi 63 in Serbia may be challenged and/or invalidated. The advertisement highlighted other sustained attacks against the Karic family, including the Serbian Government's twelve unsuccessful attempts to liquidate Karic's Astra Bank which the courts in Serbia overruled and the recent forced closure of BK TV by the Serbian police, which caused outrage from journalists and broadcasters.
ots Originaltext: Yucyco Limited
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