Norway's Telenor hopes for consolidation in Europe, CEO says at Davos

Norway's Telenor

DAVOS, Switzerland – Norway’s Telenor hopes to see consolidation in the European telecoms sector although the company itself does not have concrete plans at the moment, its CEO told the Reuters Global Markets Forum in Davos on Wednesday.

Sigve Brekke said there was a growing sense in Europe that the continent’s telecom market is too fragmented.

“We see now some consolidation attempts in Spain and in (the) UK and in Italy,” he said, adding Telenor is waiting to see what the regulators would have to say about those attempts.

Britain’s Vodafone is in discussions about potential tie-ups in Italy, facing tough regulatory hurdles.

“We did try to consolidate in Denmark a few years ago… right now we don’t have any concrete projects,” Brekke said.

Telenor has about 200 million customers across its Asian joint ventures and its Nordic businesses, with more than 10 million of those being mobile subscribers in the Nordic region.

Almost half of the company’s Nordic services revenue stems from its Norwegian customers, with Sweden, Finland and Denmark supplying the other half.

The Norwegian group has been restructuring its Asian businesses, building bigger units in Thailand and Malaysia via local mergers, and last month agreed to sell its Pakistan unit to state group Pakistan Telecommunications.

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