Novator seeks tie-up

19 May 2005

The new owner of Finnish mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Saunalahti has said it is open to discuss tie-ups with rival operators. Novator Finland has acquired a controlling 33.5% stake in Saunalahti and has launched an offer to buy up all remaining shares. Its offer of EUR1.90 per share values the MVNO at around EUR260 million. According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires, Novator has indicated that it is willing to discuss mergers with other Finnish telcos in an effort to increase its presence in the market and build a platform from which it can make an entry into other countries, probably in eastern Europe. Novator is owned by Icelandic businessman Thor Bjorgolfsson, who already has telecoms interests in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland.