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Tele2 Eyes Central Asia Acquisitions to Rival TeliaSonera

Thursday 17 November 2011

(Bloomberg) – Tele2 AB, Sweden’s second-biggest phone company, is looking for acquisitions in central Asia, a move set to intensify competition with TeliaSonera AB.

Former Soviet countries in the vicinity of Kazakhstan “can always be of interest,” Chief Financial Officer Lars Nilsson said in an interview at a conference organized by Morgan Stanley in Barcelona. “It’s important the market is not too small.”

Tele2, based on Stockholm, acquired a majority stake in NEO, then Kazakhstan’s third-largest wireless operator, in March 2010. The company, which specializes in discount phone services, gets more than a quarter of revenue in Russia where it has more than 20 million customers. Larger rival TeliaSonera is the biggest operator in Kazakhstan with its Kcell unit, and operates in five nearby former Soviet countries.

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