TeliaSonera has dropped plans to sell Yoigo after failing to attract sufficiently high bids for Spain’s fourth-largest mobile operator.
In a statement, the Swedish operator said it will now look to develop the Spanish operator, which had 3.7 million subscribers at end-2012.
TeliaSonera struggled to find buyers willing to pay the price it wanted in a depressed Spanish mobile market.
Reports of plans to offload Yoigo surfaced last summer but TeliaSonera’s interest in its disposal go back even longer.
Analysts valued Yoigo at about EUR1 billion and both Vodafone and Orange were linked to bids last year. An acquisition would have consolidated the Spanish market and potentially improved margins across the board.
TeliaSonera said in its statement that Yoigo’s net sales grew by 12.5 per cent to SEK8.38 billion ($1.29 billion) in 2012, and Ebitda increased by 49 per cent to SEK627 million.
However, Per-Arne Blomquist (pictured), TeliaSonera CEO, acknowledged that Yoigo did not fit with the rest of the group and divestment would have been possible with the right offer.
“As this requirement has not been met, we have discontinued the sales process and look forward to continue developing the company,” he said.
TeliaSonera is not the only operator which feels its assets are undervalued. Last summer KPN dropped plans to sell Base, Belgium’s smallest mobile operator, because bids were not good enough.