Telia and fixed-line operator Kazakhtelecom walked away from negotiations regarding the sale of the Swedish operator group’s majority stake in Kcell after failing to agree a price, Russian news site CNews reported.
News broke the two were in discussions in January, with state-owned Kazakhtelecom the preferred bidder after a three-way tussle for Telia’s share in the Kazakhstan mobile operator. It saw-off opposition from Transtelecom and entrepreneur Aidan Karibzhanov to enter negotiations.
The stake is worth an estimated $670 million, though details of the amount offered by the fixed-provider were not disclosed.
In early 2018, Kazakhtelecom submitted details of its proposed acquisition to the country’s monopoly commission which, despite some opposition from rivals, approved the acquisition in principle.
Attempts to offload its stake in Kcell is part of Telia’s wider strategy of selling assets outside of its core Nordics and Baltics markets, announced in 2015.
The group has already divested stakes in Russian operator Megafon, Turkcell and Azerbaijan unit Azertel (held by Telia and Turkcell JV Fintur Holdings), while accelerating its drive to 5G within its core markets.