Telenor struck agreements with the two largest shareholders of Finnish operator DNA to acquire a 54 per cent stake in the company, a move it said would further strengthen its position in the Nordic region.
Assuming regulators clear the deal for the shareholdings of Finda and PHP, which it expects to happen in Q3, Telenor will make an offer for the remaining shares in the operator.
In a statement, Telenor said Finland was an “attractive and growing market”. In figures presented to investors, it noted DNA held a 28 per cent share of Finland’s converged communications market in 2018, behind market leader Elisa (39 per cent) and Nordics rival Telia (32 per cent).
DNA is the market’s third-largest mobile operator, second fixed provider and number one in the cable TV market. Telenor said post-acquisition it planned to also grow the operator’s B2B business.
Telenor expects to be able to achieve cost synergies, including roaming savings, of NOK200 million ($23.4 million) on an annual basis following the deal.
The move into Finland fits with the company’s strategy of selling assets non-core to its business to focus on regions seen as key to its future. It has also undertaken a huge digitalisation and efficiency drive to cut costs.
Telenor already has operations in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, where it competes directly with local rival Telia. In addition, the Norway-headquartered company is present in Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia.
It also retains a 9 per cent share in Veon, having been gradually selling-off its interest in the operator group over the last four years.
Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke (pictured) said: “DNA is an exciting addition to Telenor Group, and a natural complement to our existing operations in the Nordic region. Not only are we strengthening our footprint in the Nordic region, we are also gaining a solid position across fixed and mobile in the Finnish market and making room for further value creation.”