TeliaSonera challenges Blackstone’s bid for Lattelecom

7 Feb 2008

TeliaSonera has challenged Blackstone’s bid for Lattelecom, offering to buy the Latvian government out of both Lattelecom and its wireless sister company LMT for about LVL500 million (USD1 billion), reports the Financial Times. The plan trumps Blackstone’s offer to buy Lattelecom for LVL290 million as part of a transaction in which TeliaSonera would pay LVL130 million for the state’s stake in LMT. Latvia’s new government rejected this management buy-out last month and said it would open up the privatisation to other bidders. TeliaSonera and Blackstone each submitted new proposals on Wednesday at a three-way meeting with Ivars Godmanis, the Latvian prime minister. The government is due to respond by the end of the month. TeliaSonera, which owns 49% of both Lattelecom and LMT, offered to buy the remaining shares in both groups for LTL500 million. The government has rejected TeliaSonera owning both companies as that would give it three quarters of the telephone market. At the same meeting, Blackstone repeated its offer to buy TeliaSonera’s 49% in Lattelecom for LVL142 million but said it was now prepared to wait to purchase the state’s 51% stake.

Latvia, Telia Company, Tet (Lattelecom Group)