Norway’s government yesterday announced plans to sell off a combined NOK47 billion (USD7.8 billion) tranche of shares in telecoms giant Telenor and industrial conglomerate Kongsberg Gruppen, reports English-language news site TheLocal.no. The state currently holds a 53.97% equity stake in Telenor Group, while it owns 50% of Kongsberg Gruppen, and Industry Minister Monica Maeland was quoted as saying that she would ask parliament for permission to cut the state’s stake in both companies to 34%, reportedly the minimum required to ensure their headquarters remain in Norway. The minister elaborated: ‘I’m underlining that we’re in no rush to make changes, and a permission doesn’t mean that we’re obliged to sell … Any change will depend on commercial considerations, taking into account company-specific aspects as well as market conditions,’ while she has also confirmed that the government will not block overseas companies from buying the shares in either firm.
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