TeliaSonera stalks Polish mobile operator

Poland's fourth largest mobile operator, Play, is about to be acquired by the Nordic telecom company TeliaSonera. Play, which is majority-owned by the Icelandic private equity fund Novator, has previously stated it had aggressive expansion plans and wanted to boost its subscriber base from 1.4 million to 2 million, and triple its revenues to 800 million zlotys (€238 million).

A local financial analyst confirmed the timing for Novator was good, given its strategy of rapidly building businesses prior to disposing of them to larger firms. It would also seem likely Play will be able to obtain new 900MHz spectrum for additional GSM services, and is also considering the launch of mobile TV.

A spokesman for TeliaSonera declined to comment on the speculation, while the owner of Novator, Thor Bjorgolfsson, recently said he would like to be the operator's shareholder for a longer time and did not exclude its stock market listing.

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