On 4 December ten years ago, Telenor was listed on the Oslo and New York Stock Exchange. Following an exciting decade of growth, today's value of the Telenor share is twice as high as in the year 2000.
“A public listing will increase our ability to take part in the restructuring of the telecom industry which is now in full swing,” said former Telenor’s CEO Tormod Hermansen in May 2000, upon the company’s announcement of its partial privatization.
“It’s now it’s starting. It’s now you can take part”
This was the slogan used in the TV commercial running in November 2000, informing the Norwegian public about the IPO (Initial Public Offering). For months before the historical 4 December IPO, Telenor activities were focused on preparation for the company listing, including the road shows where Telenor representatives presented the offer and the company strategy.
The company reported high interesest in the share across Norway, where all printed prospects and forms related to IPO were snatched up, causing approximately 170 bank offices ask for an additional amount. The web site www.telenoraksjen.no was established for those interested in Telenor shares and attracted 32 000 visitors in the first 15 days alone. More than 40 percent of Telenor employees ordered the shares worth close to 100 million NOK in November 2000.
4 December, first day on the Stock Exchange
In the largest IPO of the time in Norway, Telenor offered more than 372 million shares for sale. With an opening price at NOK 42, Telenor shares were traded on Oslo and New York (Nasdaq) Stock Exchange on 4 December 2000.
Following the IPO the ownership of Kingdom of Norway in Telenor shares was 79 percent. Telenor got 55 000 new shareholders, of which 53 000 were private and majority of them Norwegians.
The decade of growth
“The public listing will strengthen Telenor’s capital base, and provide us with the means to realise our growth strategy plans,” said Telenor’s CEO in 2000.
In the years to come, Telenor Group has increased its ownership in Telenor Hungary and DiGi Malaysia; added Denmark, Pakistan, Serbia and India to its map; and acquired broadband suppliers in Denmark and Sweden. The company has been among top five telecom players on Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years and is today one of the world’s major mobile operators.
“Ten years ago we were a different company. We had just started international development of the Group. We had at the time only 5 million customers, and today we are soon reaching 200 million!” says Group President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
Share development outperformed the industry
The Telenor share has been one of the most liquid shares traded at the Oslo Stock Exchange. During the decade, Telenor Group created an average annual return of 10 percent for its shareholders, outperforming the telecom industry.
A new journey starts
Today, Telenor is still listed on Oslo Stock Exchange (delisted from Nasdaq in 2007). The share price currently varies around NOK 90, which is more than double its value from 2000, just like the capitalized value of the company.
“Loking back at these ten years, it has been a fabulous journey. The coming ten years will be another type of journey where we are again going to search for competitive advantage for the Telenor Group and its Business Units,” Baksaas concluded.