Swedish telecoms group Telia Company is planning to reorganise its Latvian operations by unifying its ownership of shares in mobile provider Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) under a single company, BNS News writes. At present the group has the equivalent of a 60.3% stake in LMT, with 49% held directly and the remainder indirectly owned via its 49% interest in Lattelecom, which owns 23% of LMT’s shares. Telia’s Lattelecom shares are owned by its holding company TILTS Communications, and the group is planning to transfer its direct stake in LMT to the holding company. Vladimirs Loginovs, the head of the Latvian Privatisation Agency (LPA), challenged the plans, saying that they appeared to indicate that Telia was attempting to bypass an agreement between LMT and Lattelecom shareholders which gives the Latvian government the right of first refusal on shares in the duo. Mr Loginovs called for Telia to clarify its position and assuage such concerns.
The Swedish group has previously pushed for LMT and Lattelecom to be merged, but the state confirmed earlier this year that the two companies will remain separate. However, Telia also encouraged the government to offload its shares in the duo and the state is now set to hire an independent consultant to carry out an analysis of potential actions regarding the state-owned shares in LMT and Lattelecom.