Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wed - TeliaSonera latest European telco struggling with international growth

On monday we looked at mid sized regional telco's in Europe who were struggling to find the right acquisitions to spur their international growth which is so necessary to give them the necessary pan European scale and to get away from slowing local markets.

Well, TeliaSonera seems the latest European telco to face the same issue. The part Swedish and part Norwegian outfit has invested huge amounts of money to buy mainly mobile assets in regions such as Russia and Turkey. But, as they are now descovering, these developing countires are a far cry from managing in a stable Nordic environment.

TelaSonera is battling to gain a controlling interest in one of its key investments, in Turkcell, the fast growing Turkish mobile operator. And these attempts have been thwarted as a major investor that promised to seel them their stake has just rescinded and is instead selling out to a Russian group. This will leave TeliaSonera with only a minority stake in what was supposed to be the hub investement for them at the geographic epicentre of their international expansion.

This just goes to prove how hard it is for the European mid sized players to try and build scale and international operations in far flung countries and and at the boarders of Europe. I can't help feeling that their will be more pain to come and not all those attempting this international reach will survive as independent entities.

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