Swedish giant TeliaSonera (Telia) announced yesterday on its website that it has bought a majority (80%) stake in open access fibre broadband network provider Zitius. The stake was bought from broadcaster Modern Times Group (MTG), which itself acquired the ownership in July 2012 from Quadracom with an option to acquire the remaining 20% in 2016. Zitius is reportedly Sweden’s largest independent open access communications provider, with a fibre network connecting approximately 160,000 households, roughly over a third (around 55,000) of which subscribe to a service via the Zitius network.
TeliaSonera’s purchase deal also comprises two other related businesses, wholesale fibre network operator Quadracom Networks and fibre multi-service provider Riksnet, and together with Zitius (classed as a ‘communication operator’ in the Swedish operating model) all three operations will become part of TeliaSonera’s Fiber Business unit in Sweden, the telco’s release stated. In total, the purchase price amounts to SEK473 million (USD72.2 million) on a cash and debt-free basis. The three combined businesses had net sales totalling around SEK330 million pro forma in 2012.
‘We are very happy to be able to acquire a group of companies that have a history of being pioneers in open networks, and we aim to use this knowledge and expertise when we continue to invest in open, competition-neutral networks in the future. We welcome our new customers and look forward to serving them with Telia’s entire portfolio,’ said Malin Frenning, president of TeliaSonera’s broadband services division. The acquisition is subject to approval from the Swedish Competition Authority.