TeliaSonera and its largest shareholder, Swedish government, have rejected France Telecom’s SKR252.5 billion ($42 billion) bid for the mobile operator. France Telecom used the so called unsolicited approach, which includes both cash and stock, and which values TeliaSonera at 56.23 kronor a share, or about 26% higher than the Nordic operator’s valuation in mid-April.
TeliaSonera’s board and the Swedish government, which owns 37% of the company, have rejected the offer, while the Finnish government, a 13.7% shareholder, has yet to comment.
France Telecom’s CEO Didier Lombard said he expected talks to continue despite the initial knock-back and stressed they are not considering a hostile takeover, which when you think about it doesn’t make much sense when your primary shareholder is another government that may also have some other, non-economic interests.
France Telecom’s bid involves buying 52% of TeliaSonera in cash, and 48% in stock, and would be the company’s largest acquisition since it bought Orange in 2000. If the deal goes through, France Telecom would emerge as the largest telecoms group in Europe.