The government is prepared to give the go-ahead for Telia’s plans for a major acquisition.
Within Telia there has been growing frustration that the Swedish state, as the only major owner with 37% of the company, is defensive, putting a stop to significant structural deals. Minister for Enterprise Mikael Damberg now says to Dagens Industri (DI) that he has not stood in the way of any deal. “We have not formally been asked to go in with money in a deal,” he says, adding, “We are in continual discussions with the management of Telia and we have been clear that we back the board’s plans to grow in the Nordic and Baltic regions.”
He also says that Telia is a strategically important company for Sweden just now, making major investments in strategic infrastructure.
The merger between Tele2 and Com Hem (see SPR 11/1 Early Ed.) has increased pressure on other telecommunications operators. On the one hand, there is a fear of being left behind by Tele2 on the Swedish market and on the other the potential for carrying out aggressive acquisitions on the Nordic market has diminished.
Sources have told Dagens Industri (DI) that Telia is now considering financing a major acquisition of Danish TDC using a loan instead of issuing new shares. The source says, “Telia is being forced to resolve the situation on the unprofitable Danish market and at the same time move forward positions on the Swedish market by offering more of its own content to customers.”
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