HomeAccessCK Hutchison, Telenor mull mergers in Denmark and Sweden

    CK Hutchison, Telenor mull mergers in Denmark and Sweden


    Adds to the rising tide of attempts at consolidation in Europe

    Telenor is reported by the Financial Times [subscription needed] to be in talks with Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison about the possible merger of the companies’ operations in Sweden and Denmark. CK Hutchison operates under the Three brand in Europe.

    It is thought that the talks are in the very early stages and neither party has commented on the report.

    In consolidation mode

    CK Hutchison is in the throes of consolidating and monetising its European operations. In the UK, it wants to merge with Vodafone UK and the details of the deal are expected by the end of this month.

    It sold its European tower estate to Cellnex in a phased deal and is now reportedly exploring the possibility of selling part or all of Wind Tre’s NetCo in Italy.

    CK Hutchison’s Nordic operation, Hi3G Access, goes under the Tre Skandinavien brand and covers Sweden and Denmark. It is 60% owned by CK Hutchison and 40% by Sweden’s Investor.

    It has 2.4 million active customers in Sweden and 1.5 million in Denmark. Telenor’s operators in Sweden and Denmark have almost 3 million and 1.6 million mobile customers, respectively.

    In the lap of the competition gods

    Whether they will receive approval from European authorities for the deals to go ahead remains to be seen. Although it seemed for a time that the European Commission was more open to consolidation within markets, the proposed merger of Orange and MÁSMÓVIL is about to undergo a protracted investigation about the potential impact of fewer competitors in Spain.