Finda Group, the leading shareholder in Finnish multi-service telecoms provider DNA Finland, has increased its stake in the operator after Oulu ICT confirmed it had sold its 26% holding. According to Reuters, in a deal that valued DNA at approximately EUR808 million (USD1.1 billion) Finda Group boosted its holding in the Finnish telco to 49.9%, up from the 37.1% it previously held, while PHP Holding saw its stake increase to 37.6% from 24.3%.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July 2013 DNA’s owners revealed that a stake sale would no longer take place, despite having confirmed a month earlier that private equity firms Apax Partners, Bain Capital, BC Partners, EQT Partners and Providence had made it through to the second round of an auction process; DNA had hired Swiss financial services company UBS to lead the sale or listing of its shares. Instead of the stake sale, at the time DNA’s current stakeholders said that they would place a focus on expanding the business, with DNA board chairman Jarmo Leino cited as saying: ‘The owners have decided to keep the existing ownership base as it is to clarify the market situation.’ Despite this, in October 2013 DNA’s fourth largest shareholder, KPY Sijoitus Oy, signed an agreement to sell its holding in the operator to Finda Group and PHP Holding. Prior to the transaction, KPY Sijoitus Oy owned 1,099,596 DNA shares, representing a 12.97% stake, and as per the sale agreement this holding was to be split evenly between the two companies acquiring the shares.