The auction to sell Polish operator Play (P4) was called off because bids made by private equity firms did not meet expectations, Reuters reported.
Greek fund Tollerton and Iceland’s Novator gained full control of the number two operator in 2008, with 50.3 per cent and 49.7 per cent stakes respectively.
Non-binding bids were received from an alliance of Warburg Pincus and Cinven, Blackstone, and CVC Capital Partners.
Tollerton said the business attracted “seven non-binding offers evaluating the company around the area of €3.5 billion ($3.9 billion)”.
The auction was led by UBS and Bank of America and began earlier this year after various options for the business were reviewed, including an IPO.
Last year it was reported that Play would be put up for sale for up to $2 billion.
Back then, a source said it would be hard to get a takeover by a local player past the regulator, but P4 would be a good buy for “Nordic telecoms like Telenor, TeliaSonera, or Liberty Global, which owns cable operator UPC in Poland”.