TeliaSonera increases its ownership in Ncell in Nepal

TeliaSonera increases its ownership in TeliaSonera Asia Holding B.V. from 51 percent to 75.45 percent. TeliaSonera Asia Holding B.V. is a Dutch holding company that owns 80 percent in Ncell in Nepal and 100 percent in Applifone (brand name “Star-Cell”) in Cambodia. TeliaSonera will pay approximately SEK 1,100 million (USD 160 million) for the shares.

With this transaction, TeliaSonera increases its indirect ownership in Ncell in Nepal from 40.8 percent to 60.4 percent. TeliaSonera also acquires a right to further increase its ownership in Ncell to 72.9 percent if certain conditions are met.

“This transaction underlines TeliaSonera’s strategy to increase ownership in core holdings, such as Ncell. With a young and large population, relatively low mobile penetration and expanding economy, Nepal continues to provide a valuable opportunity for growth for TeliaSonera. We are committed to continue investing in the future development of the telecommunication infrastructure and services in the country,” says Tero Kivisaari, President of business area Eurasia.

At the same time TeliaSonera’s subsidiary in Cambodia, Applifone (brand name “Star-Cell”), will combine its operations with Latelz Co. Ltd. and its brand Smart Mobile to become a stronger operator in the Cambodian market.

Subject to final approval by Cambodian authorities, the new operator will operate under the Smart Mobile brand and will become a strong operator in the market with more than 850,000 mobile subscribers. TeliaSonera Asia Holding B.V., will as a result of this transaction own 25 percent of the new company. 

“The Cambodian mobile market has been characterized by fierce competition and high churn rates and a consolidation was inevitable. We are therefore pleased to drive this development and thereby create a stronger mobile operator in Cambodia,” says Tero Kivisaari, President of business area Eurasia.

TeliaSonera AB discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Swedish Securities Markets Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instrument Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at 9.20 a.m. CET on December 6, 2010.