Telia Sonera was formed out of the former public telephone monopolies of Sweden and Finland. On Wednesday France Telecom sent an informal proposal to Telia Sonera’s board and two largest shareholders, the Swedish and Finnish states.
A merger would create the world’s fourth largest telecoms operator. But Telia Sonera issued a press release Thursday morning saying its board has unanimously rejected the French offer.
Market analysts have said the bid is too low, while politicians from both sides of the spectrum have criticised the deal. The Swedish center-right government wants to privatize its interests in Telia Sonera, but the new offer would give the French state a large share in the company.