Talks between Norwegian Telenor and the Swedish telecom operator, Telia, have been in progress for some time, with the aim to propose a full merger between the two companies. The talks were temporarily stopped by the Norwegian government on Friday 16 January, but were soon resumed after pressure from a majority in the Norwegian Parliament.
Plans are that these talks, provided agreement is reached, shall be followed by formal negotiations, with the aim to formulate a joint proposal from the the two countries’ governments. These joint proposals will then in turn be presented to each countrys national assembly this spring if everything develops according to plans.
Telenor and Telia have complimentary portfolios of international interests, which would be enhanced by a close cooperation or merger of the companies. Synergies exist in the utilisation of capital and of competence, and in a joint approach in certain markets.
“The development of the international activities of the companies has been such that there are no significant conflicts of interest between these activities outside the Nordic region. We have reviewed the international activities of the two companies, and have identified individual markets where our interests can be consolidated and optimised”, says Telenor Senior Executive Vice President, Terje Thon.
Both companies will maintain their good relationships with existing strategic alliances during a period of discussions. Resumed talks could result in exciting new opportunities for the developement of major partnerships and alliances for the common good.
Telenor had a 1996 turnover of 22 billion NOK and had 19.000 employees, whereas Telia had a turnover of 40 billion NOK and 34.000 employees. Merger plans are based on a principle of balance between the companies in a new merged entity. Both Telia and Telenor is 100 per cent state owned.