Telia 'considering its options' after Latvia merger nixed

Telia, the nordic telecommunications company that is a major shareholder in Latvian telecoms companies Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) and Lattelecom said November 7 it was considering its options after the Latvian government ditched a plan to merge the two companies.

"It is disappointing that the government has not only rejected the solutions recommended by the independent consultants and its own inter-Ministerial working group, but has also failed to provide an alternative strategy regarding the development of the two companies and the country’s digital sector. The negative decision is detrimental for both LMT and Lattelecom and ultimately to Latvian society and the wider economy," Telia said in a  statement.

With more than a hint of annoyance, the company continued:

Over the past decade, Telia Company has put forward every single option to the government – to buy, to sell, to merge and different ownership structures, which have now all been rejected. Telia Company will now take stock of the situation and the details of the government's decision and assess its options.

Telia had previously signalled that it might sell its stakes in LMT and Lattelecom if a merger was taken off the table.

Telia Group companies Sonera Holding and Telia Company own 49% of LMT shares altogether, while Latvian Radio and Television Center and Latvian Privatization Agency - 28%. Lattelecom, which belongs to Telia and the state of Latvia, owns 23% of LMT shares.

Telia Group company Tilts Communications owns 51 percent of Lattelecom shares, and Latvian Privatization Agency the other 49%. 

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