Swedish incumbent TeliaSonera has announced that it will acquire Baltic regional telecom operators, TEO LT and Eesti Telekom, for €487 million.
The carrier is offering €155 million for 40% of TEO LT and €327 million for the 40% outstanding in Eesti Telekom. The acquisition is in line with TeliaSonera’s strategy to consolidate its minority holdings in global carrier investments while taking advantage of cheaper valuations brought on by the financial crisis.
Eesti Telekom operates Estonia's only IP-based TV service and also has investments in cable TV services, while Lithuania's TEO LT has IPTV and DTT interests.
While shareholders have yet to approve the deal, Danske Bank, a significant shareholder in both companies, dismissed the offers.
“We feel TeliaSonera is simply trying to take advantage of the recent poor market sentiment in Estonia and Lithuania by offering this insufficient compensation to minority shareholders,” a fund manager at Danske Capital told the markets.
The Estonian government, which is the main minority shareholder in Eesti Telekom, has yet to comment on the offer but has rejected buyout offers in the past.