TeliaSonera ready to reopen talks

  • 2010-11-10
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Swedish telecommunication group TeliaSonera is prepared to resume talks on privatization of Latvia’s Lattelecom and Latvijas Mobilais telefons (LMT) companies as soon as possible, said TeliaSonera’s mobility services head, Hakan Dahlstrom, to Dahlstrom last met with Latvian government representatives about six months ago. Currently there are no specific plans for the framework of talks with the new government, which is essentially the same as the previous government.

When asked if the value of both Latvian companies will have to be reassessed if the talks resume, Dahlstrom said that TeliaSonera was a public company listed on a stock exchange, and it would pay a fair market price for any asset being evaluated. The assessment can be done in many ways, but eventually both sides must come to agreement on price, he said.

Dahlstrom visited Riga to participate in a seminar in the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and meet with “colleagues from LMT,” he said. Establishing new contacts with the government was not on the visit’s agenda, he said.
In spring of this year, Dahlstrom replaced Kenneth Karlberg as the head of negotiations with the Latvian government on privatization of Lattelecom and LMT.

TeliaSonera currently holds more than 49 percent Lattelecom shares and, directly and indirectly, more than 60 percent of LMT shares. The Swedish company has said on several occasions that it wishes to fully acquire both companies.
23 percent of LMT shares are held by the Latvian State Radio and Television Center, 5 percent by the Latvian Privatization Agency and 23 percent by Lattelecom. Several years ago, the Swedes were offering up to 500 million lats (714 million euros) for full ownership of both companies.