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Virgin sets sites on Telia operations

  • 2002-09-26
HELSINKI

Virgin Mobile, a telecommunications unit controlled by British businessman Richard Branson, is weighing the acquisition of Swedish Telia's mobile phone operations in Finland, the newspaper Dagens Industrie has reported.

The paper said the deal would enable Telia to meet the demand that it sell its mobile phone venture in Finland in order to purchase the Finnish group Sonera.

The report quoted Virgin spokesman Steven Day as saying the company was a "serious" candidate, adding that Telia had invited Virgin Mobile to make an offer.

The British newspaper The Independent has said Telia's operations in Finland would be worth an estimated 100 million euros, a figure 10 percent higher than estimations appearing recently in the Finnish press.

An eventual acquisition of Telia's network in Finland would mark a shift at Virgin Mobile, which does not possess infrastructure of its own and rents capacity instead to serve 2 million clients in Britain, the United States and Australia.