The board of TeliaSonera have rejected a friendly takeover offer by France Telecom (FT) which would have valued the Nordic telecoms giant at around SEK282 billion (USD47 billion). The Paris-based operator earlier confirmed in a press release it had submitted a ‘friendly’ and ‘indicative’ SEK56.225 per share cash and stock offer for the company. The deal would have amounted to a cash transaction for around 52% of the Nordic firm’s stock, with the remainder being paid for in shares, at a ratio of three new FT shares for every eleven TeliaSonera shares. However, the board dismissed the offer as too low. The Financial Times quotes TeliaSonera chairman Tom von Weymarn as saying: ‘TeliaSonera is a strong business with excellent growth prospects in its own right. The Board and management are focused on developing the company to its full potential, driving strong and sustainable earnings growth and maximising value for all shareholders. The indicative price of SEK56.225 per share significantly undervalues this potential’. If the two companies do strike a merger deal it would create the world’s fourth largest telecoms company and mark the latest stage in consolidation among Europe’s former telecoms monopolies. Last month Deutsche Telekom completed the successful takeover of OTE in Greece, while Telefonica of Spain has also increased its Italian presence by becoming the largest single shareholder in Telecom Italia.
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