Telia buys TDC’s Norway consumer and business operation for €2.2bn

17 July 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


TDC has completed its withdrawal back into Denmark by selling its last non-Danish business, TDC Norway, to Telia.

Telia will pay 21 billion Norwegian kronor (€2.2 billion) for the operation, which includes fixed consumer and business services including TV, but no mobile unit.

Johan Dennelind, president and CEO of Telia Company, said the move “will create a leading convergent operator for both consumers and enterprises in Norway which can compete in the market with a lot of attractive and new products and services”.

Telia already provides mobile services in Norway, with 2.3 million customers using a 4G network that covers 98% of the country. It uses brand names OneCall, MyCall and Phonero as well as Telia, and has 1,350 employees.

Telia’s acquisition includes TDC’s GET-branded TV service, which serves 518,000 households and businesses on a fibre network. TDC’s B2B business in Norway is also part of the transaction.

TDC’s group CEO Pernille Erenbjerg said: “GET and TDC Norway are high quality businesses, but it has become clear that we do not need to own these businesses in order for us to succeed with what is essentially an ambition focused on Denmark.”

Two years ago Tele2 bought the Swedish operations of TDC for 2.9 billion Swedish kronor, then the equivalent of €311 million. That move left TDC with just two markets, Denmark and Norway.

Last year TDC sold its IT outsourcing subsidiary TDC Hosting to a small private equity investor, Maj Invest Equity, for an undisclosed price.

In April this year the Danish pension agency PFA led a takeover of TDC and in late June the company announced a plan to split into two new business units in Denmark: one unit focusing on network and digital infrastructure called NetCo, and another unit focusing on digital services and customer experiences called OpCo. These will be established on 1 August 2018.

TDC said at the time that it planned no changes for its Norwegian operation, though clearly it was in talks with Telia.

Erenbjerg, who plans to leave by the end of the year, said: “I am therefore glad that we have come to an attractive agreement with Telia. With the implementation of our NetCo/OpCo organisation, which we announced on 28 June and today this agreement, we are off to a good start in executing on our plans and fulfilling the ambition.”

Dennelind said: “We have a history of successful acquisitions in Norway and I am fully confident that this transaction will be no exception.”

TDC pointed out that the sale is subject to approval by the Norwegian competition authorities. Both companies said this is expected to take place during the second half of 2018. As Norway is not a member of the European Union, the European Commission will not have a role.

Norway has two significant mobile operators, Telenor and Telia, with a third, Ice, as a recent competitor. It started as a fixed wireless broadband service but began mobile 4G services in 2015.