Sweden’s Tele2 has announced that Tele 2 Sverige AB has reached an agreement to acquire the stakes held by the three largest shareholders of Network Norway, the country’s third GSM licensee. According to a press release issued by the company, it will acquire 66.65% of Network Norway’s outstanding shares, 75.01% of its outstanding warrants and 67.76% of its fully diluted share capital, including warrants and options, having reached an agreement with Orkla ASA, Hafslund Venture II and Katalysator Telekom AS. Tele2 will pay around SEK890 million (USD140 million) in cash for the shares and warrants in a deal that values Network Norway at SEK1.7 billion. It is understood that Tele2 will now look to make an offer to all remaining shareholders of Network Norway. The deal is expected to be completed once approval from the relevant regulatory authorities has been gained, while it is also conditional ‘on receiving acceptances representing more than 90% of the total outstanding shares of the company and such number of warrants which together with the shares acquired constitute more than 90% of the outstanding shares and warrants of the company’. Commenting on the development, Thomas Ekman, Market Area Director Nordic at Tele2, said: ‘The acquisition of Network Norway will make Tele2 the clear number three mobile operator in the Norwegian telecom market with more than one million customers and gives us the operational leverage that we need to complete Norway’s third mobile network. We have had a good partnership with Network Norway through our joint venture Mobile Norway. With this acquisition, Tele2 will be able to take the leading price position and truly challenge the duopoly of the Norwegian market by delivering the best deal to all mobile customers in the country.’
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Network Norway and Tele2 in September 2007 announced a partnership under which the two companies revealed they would join forces on the rollout of Norway’s third GSM network. Under the terms of the deal Tele2 Norge acquired 50% of the shares in AMI, holder of the GSM-900 licence and the 50/50 joint venture, Mobile Norway, was formed with the aim of building a wireless network covering a large proportion of the Norwegian population.