Telenor and TeliaSonera appointed Hilde Tonne as CEO of their future joint venture in Denmark, as the two Nordic giants press ahead with plans to merge their respective businesses in the country.
Telia Denmark's CEO Soren Abildgaard and CFO Dennis Kilian have also been appointed deputy CEO and CFO respectively. Tonne is currently a member of Telenor Group's executive management
Robert Andersson, TeliaSonera's executive vice president and head of Europe, said the skills, core knowledge, and areas of experience of the three executives "complement each other and make them a very strong top management team."
Tonne's appointment comes into effect on Aug. 1, while Abildgaard and Kilian will take up their respective positions once the proposed joint venture has been established. The planned merger is still subject to approval by the European Commission (EC), which is due to issue its decision by Sep. 2, some 10 working days later than originally planned.
Telenor and TeliaSonera remain bullish that the deal will be approved in the second half of 2015. They recently shrugged off an EC statement of objections to the planned combination as nothing more than an "ordinary event" in such a merger process.
The two operators continue to insist that the move will not affect competition in the market despite reducing the number of operators in Denmark from four to three. They maintain that "fundamental change" is needed in the market, where competition is today fierce "and will remain so in the future".
"With the merger of Telia and Telenor we will become a robust operator in the Danish market. This will be beneficial for the customers who can look forward to valuable services and improved network experience," said Tonne.
The companies announced their plan to combine Denmark's number two and three operators into a 50:50 joint venture in December. The EC in April opened an in-depth probe into the plan amid concerns over the competitive impact of the move. The EC is concerned by the fact that the merger would create Denmark's largest operator in terms of revenue and subscriber numbers, ahead of rivals TDC and Hi3G (Three Denmark).
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