Telenor to acquire Vodafone Sweden for $1.8B

On the heels of its $1.5 billion acquisition of 10 percent of Bharti Tele-Ventures, Vodafone announced that Telenor has agreed to acquire the company's Swedish division for $1.8 billion. Pending EU approval, the companies expect the deal to close by the end of the year. Vodafone Sweden currently claims 15 percent of the Swedish market with approximately 1.5 million subscribers. The company reported revenues of $804 million for the year ending March 31, 2005.

Analysts are relieved to see Vodafone's assets are moving in both directions as it not only acquired the stake in Bharti but also sold its Swedish division. The wholesale liquidation of its assets in a market is out of character for the company, but Vodafone's CEO hinted at the sale earlier in the year. Telenor's play will considerably strengthen its presence in the crowded Swedish market, which boasts five carriers vying for the country's population of 9 million. The move will enable Telenor to better compete with TeliaSonera since the acquisition will equip Telenor with its own infrastructure. Telenor previously licensed Tele2's network.

For more on the Telenor, Vodafone Sweden deal:
- check out this article from Dow Jones