White & Case, B&M first to cash in on post-war Serbian market with Mobtel sale

US firms White & Case and Baker & McKenzie (B&M) are among the first international firms to benefit from Serbia’s growing post-war market, having advised on the successful acquisition of a stake in Serbian mobile telecommunications carrier Mobtel.

Austrian investors Martin Schlaff, Josef Taus and Herbert Cordt have finalised the takeover of an unspecified stake in the telecommunications carrier.

White & Case acted for the seller, Serb businessman Bogoljub Karic, while B&M acted for the investors.

The value of the stake remains unspecified, as Karic and the Serbian government are still entangled in a dispute about who actually owns the majority in Mobtel.

Mobikom Austria, the mobile telecommunications subsidiary of Telekom Austria, is now looking to buy the remaining Mobtel shares from the Serbian government. Mobtel is valued at between €800m (£539.9m) and €1bn (£674.8m).

An industry commentator said there was increasing interest in Serbia, but the business opportunities were unlikely to match the scale of its neighbours.