Swedish telecoms group TeliaSonera has said it will not raise the bid for its Lithuanian unit TEO LT following an offer from Swedish investment firm East Capital Asset Management to buy a 4.67% stake in the telco currently held as treasury shares, reports Bloomberg. East Capital’s bid beats the LTL1.83 (USD0.78) per share currently offered by TeliaSonera to buy out minority shareholders in the operator, which is due to expire on 9 October. TeliaSonera’s CFO, Per-Arne Blomquist, said: ’We stick to our price and to our strategy…This bid will end on Friday and we will not change anything…[the East Capital bid] only relates to a small portion of shares, not to all shareholders, this is more an attempt of rocking the boat.’
Bloomberg adds that some minority shareholders, including Danske Bank and East Capital, had earlier rejected TeliaSonera’s TEO offer as too low. Danske Bank said that the Swedish company was ‘simply trying to take advantage of the recent poor market sentiment in Lithuania by offering this insufficient compensation to minority shareholders.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that TEO LT is currently 60%-owned by TeliaSonera via its holding vehicle Amber Teleholding, whilst East Capital owns 5.15%.