Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Telia mulls options in Latvia after merger rejected

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Wednesday 08 November 17

Swedish company says government has blocked all its proposals for Latvian fixed and mobile operations over past decade

Telia Company is considering its options for its operations in Latvia after the government rejected its latest plan to merge its fixed and mobile units in the country. The Sweden-based telco group had proposed bringing together incumbent operator Lattelecom…

Telia Company is considering its options for its operations in Latvia after the government rejected its latest plan to merge its fixed and mobile units in the country.

The Sweden-based telco group had proposed bringing together incumbent operator Lattelecom, in which it holds a 49% stake, and its 60.3%-owned mobile business LMT. It claims to have secured strong backing for such a move, but said the plan was shot down by the government on Tuesday.

"It is disappointing that the government has not only rejected the solutions recommended by the independent consultants and its own inter-ministerial working group, but has also failed to provide an alternative strategy regarding the development of the two companies and the country's digital sector," Telia said.

The decision to reject the merger is detrimental to both companies and to the country as a whole, Telia insisted, in a short statement in which it vented its frustration at its continued inability to find a workable solution in Latvia.

The telco is keen to maximise the potential of the companies by merging them, but the state's reluctance to relinquish control of the telecoms space is standing in its way.

The government owns 51% of Lattelecom.

"Over the past decade Telia Company has put forward every single option to the government – to buy, to sell, to merge, and different ownership structures – which have now all been rejected," the telco said.

"Telia Company will now take stock of the situation and the details of the government's decision and assess its options," it added.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Newsletter signup

Quickly get on board and up to date with the telecoms industry