Telenor squeezes almost NOK3bn out of the taxman

18 Oct 2006

Telenor of Norway has won a tax settlement worth NOK2.99 billion (USD443 million) after it successfully sued the country’s tax authorities for rejecting a tax deduction in 2001 when the group sold shares in Danish mobile operator Sonofon at a loss between two of its own subsidiaries. Telenor Eiendom Holding AS bought the Sonofon shares in 2000 for about NOK14 billion, but wrote down the value of the stake a year later and sold it to another Telenor subsidiary, Dansk Mobil Holding, for NOK5.5 billion. Tax authorities claimed the loss could not be deducted because the transaction was tax motivated, but the Supreme Court has unanimously upheld two previous lower court rulings that the deal had a sound business basis, and that the losses were therefore genuine. The ruling is final.

Norway, Sonofon, Telenor Group