The owners of DNA have dropped plans for a sale of Finland’s third-largest operator but they are not the first in Europe to find recent conditions for the disposal of a tier-two player less than ideal.
The company had considered a sale to private equity buyers or an initial public offering but pulled plans for either approach, citing market conditions.
“DNA’s owners have received a number of valuable suggestions for alternative ownership arrangements,” said board chairman Jarmo Leino (pictured). But on reflection, they had decided “the market is not right now” and so will keep the current ownership in place, he said.
The statement did not say whether DNA might revisit a sell-off in the future.
However, DNA is not the first of Europe’s smaller operators unable to find a buyer at the right price. Earlier this year, TeliaSonera dropped plans to sell Yoigo, Spain’s fourth-largest mobile operator, after failing to attract sufficiently high bids.
And, in 2012, KPN cancelled sales of both E-Plus in Germany and Belgium’s Base because of adverse market conditions.
DNA did not admit in its statement that bids had failed to reach the required level. However Leino did describe the conditions faced by operators in today’s mobile market: “The operator industry is changing and the investment rate will remain at a high level. Operators will have to take serious consideration of a new kind of pricing model,” he said.