02 Czech Republic AS, the country’s leading telecommunications company, is making the controversial and many say risky move of taking out a sizeable loan to allow its majority shareholder to buy it out. The company is likely to borrow 31.8 billion koruna and will use the majority of that to enable Petr Kellner’s private equity company to buy out the remainder of the company.
According to Bloomberg, Richard Doyle, who owns a 0.72% stake in the 02 is unhappy with this plan; the loan means 30% of 02’s market value. Doyle told Bloomberg that shareholders would bear “the brunt of the losses”
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Kellner already asked for loans to raise his stake in the company to its current 83%. Shares of 02 have fallen 29% and it is likely to cut its dividend. In addition to its other woes, the company’s net income is likely to fall from 5.7 billion koruna to 4.7 billion this year, the lowest in 10 years.
Petr Kellner is of Jewish origin and made his fortune following the Czech Republic’s Velvet Revolution. He is currently the wealthiest man in the Czech Republic.