Telia buys Norwegian B2B operator Phonero for NOK 2.3 bln

Telia Company said it has acquired Norwegian firm Phonero at an enterprise value of NOK 2.3 billion million on a cash and debt-free basis. Telia expects the deal to strengthen its position in the Norwegian enterprise segment and to generate annual cost synergies of approximately NOK 400 million.

Phonero offers telecommunication services to small and medium-sized corporate customers as well as public companies in Norway. Phonero has 25,000 invoiced enterprise customers with approximately 250,000 mobile subscriptions. The transaction will increase Telia’s market share in the mobile enterprise segment from approximately 13 percent to 27 percent.

In the twelve months to 30 June, Phonero reported net sales of NOK 1.1 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of NOK 217 million. Telia expects the cost synergies, mainly from transferring traffic to its own network, to have a limited effect in 2017 but full effect in 2018. Based on Phonero’s results in the last twelve-month period, combined with expected synergies, the purchase price corresponds to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 3.7 times.

Johan Dennelind, President and CEO of Telia Company, said the acquisition is another major step in creating a leading converged player in both consumer and enterprise activities throughout the Nordic and Baltic regions.

Abraham Foss, CEO of Telia Norway, said the two operations have complementary knowledge, expertise and services that will help to create added value for business customers.

The acquisition is subject to approval from the Norwegian competition authorities and is expected be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

According to newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv’s website, the Norvestor fund owned 56 percent of Phonero, and businessman Christen Sveaas’ private investment fund Kistefos held 20 percent. Staff and other shareholders held the remaining shares.

Source: Telecom Paper


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