Telia Company announced on Tuesday to sell its global operation Telia Carrier to Polhem Infra, an infrastructure investor owned by Swedish pension funds, for 9.45 billion Swedish kronor (€900 million), on a cash and debt free basis, at an EV/EBITDA ratio of 18.9. Telia Company has reached an agreement with Polhem Infra. At the same time, Telia Company enters a long-term strategic partnership with Telia Carrier, securing continuous world-leading network solutions to Telia’s customers.
Telia Carrier is well-known for its Internet backbone network, AS1299, which holds the #1 top position in the global ranking of Internet backbone networks. Content, services and operator customers of Telia Carrier account for 58% of global Internet routes. Its network spans across Europe, North America, and Asia, connecting customers in more than 120 countries, with the Scandinavian footprint being particularly strong through the so-called Scandinavian Ring – the part of Telia Carrier’s network that connects major Baltic and Nordic cities.
For 2019, Telia Carrier reported net sales of SEK 5,388 million, an EBITDA excluding IFRS-16 of SEK 500 million (SEK 888 million including IFRS-16) and capital expenditures of SEK 396 million resulting in EBITDA, excluding IFRS-16, less capital expenditures, of SEK 104 million. The agreed price for Telia Carrier equals an EV/EBITDA of 18.9 multiple for its 2019 performance, excluding IFRS-16. The transaction is expected to generate a capital gain of approximately SEK 7 billion at closing.
In connection with the divestment and change of ownership, a strategic, long-term partnership between Telia Carrier and Telia Company has been established, to safeguard the two companies’ unique ability to provision services and to develop new solutions for Telia’s customers. The change of ownership will enable Telia Carrier, with its 530 employees, to drive a level of investment in network development, services and customer care programs that brings benefits to content providers, operators and enterprises beyond that of any competitor.
According to Allison Kirkby, the group CEO at Telia Company, the divestment of Telia Carrier highlights the value Telia has built in its digital infrastructure. As a consequence, Telia Company can now fully concentrate on our Nordic and Baltic footprint, while securing future access for its customers to Telia Carrier's world-leading solutions, through a long-term strategic partnership.
The acquisition is Polhem Infra’s first investment in digital infrastructure. Polhem Infra is jointly owned by the Swedish Pension Funds; First AP Fund, Third AP Fund and Fourth AP Fund. The company’s goal is to lay the best possible foundation for long-term investments in infrastructure to meet society’s long-term needs. The focus is on cooperation and sustainability.