Telefonica joins race for Sonera

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica has become the latest company to enter the bidding for Finnish mobile communications group Sonera.

LONDON (Brand Republic) – Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica has become the latest company to enter the bidding for Finnish mobile communications group Sonera.

Telefonica has instructed its adviser, investment bank Schroder Salomon Barney, to prepare a valuation of the Finnish company.

News of the Spanish group’s interest comes only a day after it was reported that UK mobile phone operator Orange was considering a £20bn bid for Sonera

Telefonica and Sonera have already joined forces to bid for one of the 3G mobile licences in Germany. Telefonica is thought to be keen to protect this investment, which is crucial to its plans to extend its mobile business into the European market.

Deutsche Telekom is another potential bidder, and speculation is mounting that BT could be interested.

Sonera has a market capitalisation of $28bn. It has a 61% share of the mobile market in Finland and owns a 48% stake in a major Turkish cellphone business.

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