Swedish telecoms group Tele2 has revealed that it has agreed to sell its Norwegian unit to rival TeliaSonera for an enterprise value of SEK5.1 billion (USD728 million), equivalent to a cash value of SEK5.3 billion.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in March 2014 Tele2 had confirmed that it was ‘in the process of evaluating a number of strategic opportunities for its Norwegian operations’, having halted network investment that month after failing to secure any new spectrum in the government’s multi-band frequency auction, which concluded in December 2013.
In announcing the development, Tele2 has claimed that the divestment ‘delivers an attractive value for [it] and will generate a capital gain of approximately SEK2 billion upon expected closing’, with Mats Granryd, Tele2’s president and CEO, noting: ‘The competitive constraints we faced without resources on the multiband frequency required us to evaluate different options for our Norwegian businesses. Whilst we have not been able to complete our originally desired strategy, the proposed deal is good for our customers, shareholders and for Tele2 as a whole.’ Meanwhile, Tele2 Norway CEO Arild Hustad said of the sale plans: ‘The transaction will bring together two great players in the Norwegian market. The combined strength will create a company that is better able to serve Norwegian mobile customers and businesses. One immediate benefit of the combination is a more rapid nationwide rollout of 4G, to enable further value creation and growth in the Norwegian market.’
It is understood that the transaction is subject to regulatory approval from the Norwegian Competition Authority, but both Tele2 and TeliaSonera are said to be confident of receiving this by the first quarter of 2015 at the latest.