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CORPORATE

Bonnier mounts counteroffensive

DI sources report that Bonnier is mounting a counteroffensive against Norwegian Schibsted in the battle for control of Finnish Alma Media. The Finnish company, controlled by Bonnier, may, for example, hive off the TV business and distribute the shares to its shareholders.

Market takes a break

Swedish market rates fell last week after the Riksbank released the minutes from its latest monetary meeting.

The minutes reveal that the executive board is uncertain over future developments and that the planned hike in the repo rate has been shelved for the time being.

According to Michael Boström, an analyst at Danske Markets, most commentators consider that the Riksbank has overestimated inflation, and if this is the case then it is unlikely that the repo rate will be raised at all next year.

Government gives TV 4 go-ahead

On Wednesday, Culture Minister Leif Pagrotsky announced that the Swedish commercial channel TV 4 would retain its licence to broadcast on the analogue terrestrial network until 31 January 2008.

Price competition in mobile telephony

According to the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS), turnover in mobile services fell by 2 per cent in the first half of 2004 to 8.6 billion crowns. Despite this, the number of traffic minutes in the mobile network increased by 10 per cent. The development is the result of greater price competition, reports PTS.

Tele 2 awarded licence in Croatia

A consortium led by Tele 2 has received a licence for GSM and 3G telephony in Croatia.

Tele 2 plans to begin extending the network in the first quarter of 2005 and to launch services during the year.

Croatia has 4.4 million inhabitants and a mobile penetration rate of some 60 per cent.

EQT acquires Munksjö

Wallenberg-dominated venture capitalist EQT is to acquire speciality paper company Munksjö from Irish Jefferson Smurfit for some 4 billion kronor.

Munksjö has a dominant position on the market for décor paper, which is used by the furniture industry and laminated floor producers. The company’s speciality papers are also used by the electronics industry.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri

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CHINA

Corporate deals set to take off in Sweden in 2011: report

Sweden is one of the hottest markets in the Nordic region for corporate mergers and acquisitions, according to a new report.

Eight out of ten managers at large Nordic companies surveyed by business consultancy KPMG expected the M&A market in Sweden to grow in 2011.

Corporate deal growth in Sweden’s neighbours Denmark, Norway, and Finland, meanwhile, was only predicted by about 60 percent of the survey’s respondents.

The results of the survey are published as part of an annual review of M&A activity published by KPMG entitled Competing for growth 2011.

“We see that both venture capital firms and industrial firms are well positioned for even more business in 2011,” Christopher Fägerskiöld, head of M&A advising for KPMG Sweden, said in a statement.

According to Fägerskiöld, venture capital firms have had a difficult time selling their holdings during the financial crisis, leading to a pent up need to sell.

“At the same time, they need to show they can make acquisitions, not least those who plan on taking in money for new funds,” he said.

Last year, there were 158 deals in which companies from outside the Nordics bought a Nordic company, an increase of 48 percent.

“The most notable example was that Volvo Cars was sold to Chinese Geely,” said Fägerskiöld.

“It’s the first time that a privately owned Chinese company has bought a large and well-known western European company. It may very well pave the way for similar acquisitions.”

Respondents to the survey singled out China as the non-Nordic country that will likely carry out the most deals in the Nordic region in 2011, followed by Germany and the United States.

“We see a large interest from Swedish industrial companies to strengthen their position in Asia by acquisitions or cooperation with local companies,” said Fägerskiöld.

Many companies feel pressure to act so that the competition doesn’t get to China first.”

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