TeliaSonera today announces that its wholly owned subsidiary Amber Mobile Teleholding AB has reached an agreement with the Kazickas family to acquire their 10 percent holding in UAB Omnitel of Lithuania. Having acquired the remaining outstanding shares, Omnitel is thereby fully owned by TeliaSonera. TeliaSonera agreed to pay USD 63,5 million including dividends until closing for the Kazickas family's shares. The share price is based on a valuation of Omnitel amounting to USD 603 million for 100 percent of the shares. The deal will be closed today.
"This agreement represents a major step in fulfilling TeliaSonera's Nordic-Baltic strategy to strengthen its position in the region in order to provide better services for customers," says Kenneth Karlberg, President of TeliaSonera Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries.
In August 2003, TeliaSonera acquired Motorola's 35-percent shareholding in Omnitel, raising its shareholding to 90 percent. This deal was completed following approval by the Lithuanian Competition Council in December 2003.
Omnitel, which was the first private telecommunications company established in Eastern Europe, is the largest mobile operator in the Baltic countries with 1.14 million subscribers at the end of June 2004. The company presently has an overall market share of approximately 47 percent and is the leading choice of corporate customers. Omnitel continues to successfully attract new customers, adding 86,591 subscribers during the first six months 2004. During the same period net sales increased by almost 7 percent.
"We are very pleased by the fact that Omnitel becomes the first wholly owned Baltic company in the TeliaSonera group," says Kenneth Karlberg. "As a fully integrated operation in the leading Nordic-Baltic telecommunications group, Omnitel's customers will enjoy the full scope of our services and resources."
Omnitel was established as Litcom by Dr. Juozas P. Kazickas in 1991. "The early foresight and business initiative by the Kazickas family set the stage for this highly successful operation," Kenneth Karlberg said when the agreement had been reached. "It has been a pleasure to work together with them in developing Omnitel since our involvement in the company from 1998."