Tele2 ‘on acquisition trail’ in central Asia

18 Nov 2011

Swedish telecoms group Tele2, having come to the end of a phase of divestments, is once again on the lookout for acquisitions, targeting central Asia in particular. After recently agreeing to increase its ownership of its Norwegian operations, Tele2 has now turned its attention on countries in the CIS region, where it is firmly established in Kazakhstan, and building on its solid mobile growth in Russian regions. Quoted in a Bloomberg report, the company’s chief financial officer Lars Nilsson said in an interview at a Barcelona conference organised by Morgan Stanley, that former Soviet countries in the vicinity of Kazakhstan ‘can always be of interest,’ although adding that ‘It’s important the market is not too small.’ Target markets need at least a million potential Tele2 customers for it to consider investing, according to Nilsson. Meanwhile, in Norway, the financial spokesman said that acquisition of former joint venture Network Norway was a ‘major step’ and that the country’s operations would become profitable by 2014. Nilsson also commented that the group currently had no requirement to make any divestments.

Sweden, Tele2