Telenor now owns a 95% stake in Finnish cable and telecom operator DNA after launching a mandatory tender offer for the shares in the company it does not already own, and has unveiled plans to create a new ‘Nordic cluster’ within the group with new management.
Telenor’s launch of a mandatory offer follows its acquisition of a 54% majority stake in DNA in August. After completion of the tender offers and following the end of a two-week extension to the offer period, the Norwegian telco will redeem remaining shares in the company and delist DNA from the Helsinki NASDAQ exchange in line with local company law.
Following its taking of complete control of DNA, Telenor will create a new Nordic cluster with a new chief executive.
Morten Karlsen Sørby, EVP and acting head of Telenor’s current Scandinavia Cluster, is to step down from his role after 26 years at Telenor and 15 years as part of Telenor’s Group executive management. Sørby is leaving to explore new opportunities to serve on corporate boards and to work with venture capital and private equity enterprises.
“Telenor Group sees great potential for DNA to continue to grow and develop. This includes strengthening its customer offerings and position in the business segment, as well as leveraging on Telenor’s global scale and strong position in the Nordic region. This marks another step in executing on our strategic agenda, focusing on modernisation and value creation within core telecom in the Nordics and Asia,” said Telenor Group CFO Jørgen Rostrup.
Telenor acquired a 54% stake in DNA in mid-August for a total of €1.5 billion following approval of the deal by DNA shareholders and a regulatory green light.
The acquisition brings Telenor into head-to-head competition with Telia as the two biggest players in the Nordic market.
DNA is the third largest mobile operator in Finland, with 2.9 million subscribers, a 28% market share. It is also the second largest broadband service provider and operates the country’s biggest cable TV service. In 2018, it reported revenues of €912 million.