According to the Rzeczpospolita, On 25 March this year, a bailiff’s auction of Mediatel, which is undergoing restructuring, is planned. 98% of the company’s shares were put up for auction. However, the sale of Mediatel is hindered by the presence of Hawe Telekom in the list of companies subject to state protection.
98% of Mediatel shares for sale
According to the information obtained by the Rzeczpospolita (https://cyfrowa.rp.pl/telekomunikacja/45167-komornicza-licytacja-spolki-z-grupy-marka-falenty) a bailiff’s auction of Mediatel is planned for 25 March this year. 98% of the company’s shares have been issued for the auction. Mediatel is the last public company belonging to the Hawe Group, once controlled by Marek Falenta.
In 2015. Hawe became insolvent as a result of financial problems of the group company – Hawe Telekom – and its own. Problems with debt service on time (it is estimated that the company owes creditors about PLN160-170m, mainly to the Industrial Restructuring Agency – over PLN80m) caused further problems of Hawe. Hawe Telekom has been suspended and restructured since 2016. Since 2014. Hawe Telekom is directly, 100% controlled by the Mediatel Group and is its most valuable asset due to its extensive fibre-optic infrastructure (owner of the optical ring surrounding the country).
Hawe in the list of companies subject to state protection
Bailiff Bartosz Guzik from the district of Poznań who put Mediatel’s shares up for auction, did not reveal whose benefit it would take. It is also known that in February 2020. The Hawe Group was on the list of companies covered by the Regulation of the Council of Ministers on the list of entities subject to protection and their respective control bodies. The inclusion of Hawe in the special government supervision (one-year protection) is intended to protect the company from uncontrolled divestment of all or part of its infrastructure and assets in order to provide funds to repay the company’s maturing liabilities. This, in turn, could result in the company’s discontinuity of services and cut off a large part of the public and businesses from telecommunications services. Indeed, Hawe provides wholesale services to key fixed, mobile, cable TV and regional broadband operators.
Netia or Exatel – who will buy Mediatel?
It cannot be ruled out that the above measures are aimed at taking full state control of Hawe. According to unofficial information from the beginning of 2019, Exatel is being treated as a potential investor for Hawe Telekom to buy the company’s assets. TK Telekom was also once mentioned. However, in an interview with Rzeczpospolita, a spokesperson for Netia (the owner of TK Telekom) informed that Telekom is not interested in Mediatel. The same question was answered by an Exatel spokesperson, refusing to provide details at the current stage of the company’s development.
Paweł Paluchowski, President of the Hawe Group (but also Mediatel and Hawe Telekom), believes that the sale of Mediatel is difficult due to the fact that Hawe Telekom is on the list of companies subject to state protection. Therefore, a potential purchaser of a listed company, as well as the parent company, must notify its plans to the Minister of Economy, who, after consulting a committee made up of representatives of ministries and national institutions, may veto the transaction or prevent the exercise of the voting rights attached to the shares if the national interest so requires.