A proposed SEK9.2 billion ($1 billion) acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting by Telia could lead to Sweden selling its 37 per cent stake in the operator group due to concerns the state would have too much media influence, Reuters reported.
Ahead of a general election on Sunday (9 September), several political party representatives voiced concerns to the news publication on the country retaining the stake should the deal go through.
Opposition centre-right politicians are reportedly open to selling the share in Telia, while the minority government is broadly in favour of retaining it.
Reuters added all the major political parties oppose Telia’s Bonnier Broadcasting acquisition, which needs to be approved by the European Commission, but are unlikely to step-in to block it.
Should Telia get the deal through regulators, the state would effectively own a significant stake in TV4, Scandinavia’s largest commercial channel, in addition to controlling public service broadcaster SVT.
The country’s parliament must approve the sale of its share, which is worth around SEK64 billion based on its 6 September share price.
If the country decides against selling, it could instead opt to split the company’s broadband network away from its media arm and dispose of its share of the media business.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back