Financier chases Telia stake

A Swedish financier is trying to buy a major shareholding in Swedish-Finnish phone company Telia Sonera, it has been reported by Dagens Industri.

The speculation caused the company’s share price to rise markedly on Thursday morning.

Financier Christer Gardell and his new hedge fund Cevian are reported to want to gain a controlling share in the company.

Dagens Industri reported that the move was sparked by criticism of the company’s management, the company’s high costs, its low stock market valuation and subsidiaries that don’t fit well with the company as a whole.

The Social Democratic government says it plans to maintain the state’s share in the company, said industry minister Thomas Östros.

“We have no plans at all to sell parts of Telia Sonera,” he said.

“It is very important to have a long-term owner that gives stability to the company.”

The situation could be very different, however, if the Alliance wins the approaching election. The Alliance parties have agreed to sell the state’s share in the telecoms giant as part of a major privatisation scheme.

The Swedish state currently owns 43.5 percent of the shares in Telia Sonera, with the Finnish state owning 13.2 percent.