17 September 2002 -- Prague-based Czech telecom company GTS/KPNQwest, owned by Antel Holdings Ltd, has changed its name to GTS and will focus solely on business clients in the Czech and Slovak markets.
"Our goal is to become number one operator in the telecommunications services for businesses," said GTS managing director Milan Rusnak. "The household telephone services market is too crowded and offers very limited profits," he adds.
Antel Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Group MENATEP, took over GTS along with the acquisition of 100% of KPNQwest Ebone Central Europe BV (formerly GTS Central Europe Holdings BV) in early August from a banking syndicate led by Citigroup.
Although KPNQwest suffered from losses in western Europe, its GTS subsidiary operating in the Czech and Slovak republics remained profitable, Rusnak said.
In first-half 2002, GTS recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of CZK214.4m (USD7m) on total sales of CZK1.2bn (USD39m).
GTS also plans to boost its services in Slovakia, where the telecoms market is scheduled to open to partial competition next year. GTS' new owners may consider investing about EUR5m to expand in Slovakia, Rusnak said, adding that any decision depends on the pace of telecoms sector deregulation in Slovakia.