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Norwegian state looks to reduce Telenor holding

 

More state, less speed

More state, less speed

Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries released a statement Thursday that said it will propose that the Norwegian Government reduces its stake in leading operator Telenor from 54 per cent to 34 per cent.

The Ministry also recommended a similar divestment in technology specialist Kongsberg Gruppen, which caters to the defence, oil and gas industries. Monica Mæland, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said the move would enhance the state’s ability to reduce its shareholding or support potential mergers, acquisitions or other strategic changes that may create value.

“I would like to emphasise that there is no need for changes in state ownership in these companies in the short-term and there is no obligation to divest shares. Any change will depend on commercial considerations taking into account company-specific aspects as well as market conditions, among other factors,” said Mæland.

“Both Telenor and Kongsberg Gruppen are important Norwegian corporations and it is the objective of the Government that the headquarter functions of these companies remain in Norway. We will secure this by holding at least 34 per cent of the shares,” she added.

The state currently holds 53.97 per cent of the shares in Telenor, which has a market capitalisation of NOK 218bn.

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