Telia Company has reached an agreement with Polhem Infra to sell its carrier business, Telia Carrier for SEK9,450m on a cash and debt-free basis.
The acquisition is Polhem Infra’s first investment in digital infrastructure. The company is jointly owned by the Swedish Pension Funds; First AP Fund, Third AP Fund, and Fourth AP Fund. Its goal is to lay the best possible foundation for long-term investments in infrastructure to meet society’s long-term needs, focusing on cooperation and sustainability.
In connection with the divestment and change of ownership, a strategic, long-term partnership between Telia and its former carrier business has been established in order to safeguard the two companies’ ability to provision services and to develop new solutions for Telia’s customers. The change of ownership will enable Telia Carrier, with its 530 employees, to drive a level of investment in network development, services, and customer care programs that brings benefits to content providers, operators, and enterprises.
Mikael Lundin, CEO at Polhem Infra, says of the transaction: ‘As an investor in Nordic infrastructure, we will be a stable and long-term owner, committed to the company and its role in the transition towards sustainable and thriving societies globally. We will support the company with a thought-leading board of directors, and we will continue to invest in digital infrastructure, a core investment area for us.’
Allison Kirkby, President, and CEO of Telia Company added: ‘The divestment of Telia Carrier highlights the value Telia has built-in its digital infrastructure - and today we are able to crystallize some of that value. As a consequence, we can now fully concentrate on our Nordic and Baltic footprint, while we at the same time have secured future access for our customers to Telia Carrier's world-leading solutions, through a long-term strategic partnership. The majority of the proceeds from the sale will be used to strengthen our balance sheet and thereby provide a solid financial base for Telia Company and our shareholders.’
Kirkby went on to reveal that Staffan Göjeryd will remain as head of Telia Carrier under Polhem Infra and offered confidence that the business will go from strength to strength under the new leadership. Recently, it entered a strategic partnership with ZenFi Networks to help provide the New York and New Jersey metro region of America with enhanced backbone connectivity.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in the first half of next year.