Telenor expands to Finland by completing €1.9bn DNA deal

Telenor expands to Finland by completing €1.9bn DNA deal

21 August 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Telenor has completed its expansion into Finland by completing its deal to acquire 54% of DNA, giving it an extra 2.8 million customers.

The deal, for a total of €1.9 billion, means the expanded Telenor group has 10 million customers in Europe, out of 181 million worldwide.

“As a strong challenger in Finland’s mobile market, DNA complements our operations in the Nordic region, and I am looking forward to welcoming our DNA colleagues to the Telenor family,” said Telenor group president and CEO, Sigve Brekke.

Now Telenor plans to gain 100% control of DNA, offering the same €20.90 a share it has paid for the current 54%. Telenor says it will not increase the bid price. “The offer period will be from 29 August to 26 September,” said the company. “If Telenor reaches 90% holding it will initiate delisting of DNA. Telenor does not intend to acquire shares in DNA at a price exceeding the offer price.”

The offer puts Telenor’s potential bill for the rest of DNA at €1.6 billion.

DNA became Finland’s second largest fixed broadband operator in May, when it launched high-speed broadband and next-gen TV services to housing companies and house owners in the Tampere region. 

It announced the DNA bid in April after separate agreements with DNA’s two largest shareholders, Finda Telecoms and PHP Holding. Brekke said today: “We are pleased to have completed this transaction and begin our story with DNA.”

Telenor’s group CFO Jørgen Arentz Rostrup said: “We will launch a mandatory public tender offer [MTO] for all the remaining shares in DNA. We believe the MTO offer price of €20.90 will be attractive to current investors who may consider taking the opportunity to sell and lock in a solid profit.”

Telenor’s European operations are focused solely on Norway, where the company is based, plus Denmark, Sweden and now Finland.

In March 2018 it sold its businesses in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia for €2.8 billion to PPF, an investor that also owns O2 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In May this year it started discussions with Axiata to merge their Asian companies.