Telia to sell 49% stake in Swedish towers business

FILE PHOTO: A flag flutters at the Telia telecommunication company offices in Helsinki, Finland, May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Nordic telecom operator Telia said on Thursday it had agreed to sell a 49% share in its towers business in Sweden to infrastructure investors Brookfield and Alecta, netting a gain of around 5.5 billion crowns ($585.55 million).

“The Board intends to propose that the net proceeds from the sale are transferred to the shareholders by means of either share buy-backs or an extraordinary dividend,” Telia Chief Executive Allison Kirkby said in a statement.

The deal follows an agreement last year in which Telia sold a similar-sized stake in its towers businesses in Norway and Finland to the same two investment firms.

The tower assets are held by Telia Towers AB, 51% owned by Telia with the remainder owned by Brookfield and Alecta.

The transaction price corresponds to an enterprise value for 100 percent of the business of 11.2 billion crowns on a cash and debt-free basis.

When the transaction is completed, Telia will enter into an anchor tenant agreement with Telia Towers in Sweden.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.

($1 = 9.3929 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by Jonathan Oatis