STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish telecom operator Telia Company said on Tuesday it was buying operator TDC's Norwegian business for 21 billion Norwegian crowns (£1.96 billion) in a deal that would boost its broadband and TV offering.
Telia said the acquisition would make the company a "strong challenger" in mobile, TV and broadband. Norway is the home market of Nordic rival Telenor.
Telia, which is in the process of completing an exit from its Eurasian businesses, had said previously it was interested in acquisitions in its Nordic core markets and was looking to expand its TV content
It has also highlighted that broadband and cable-TV assets in Norway, where it mainly sells mobile services, were a top priority for acquisitions.
"We have a history of successful acquisitions in Norway and I am fully confident that this transaction will be no exception," Telia CEO Johan Dennelind said in a statement.
TDC's Norwegian business includes GET, a fibre and TV provider with a total of 518,000 households and businesses connected to its fibre-based network, as well as a business-to-business operation, TDC Norway.
GET also has more than 1 million private and business customers who use its TV and broadband services on a daily basis, Telia said.
"It will create a leading convergent operator for both consumers and enterprises in Norway which can compete in the market with a lot of attractive and new products and services," Dennelind said.
Telia said its on-going share buy-back programme and dividend policy would remain intact following the deal.
The company has also been eyeing other big acquisitions, saying in May it was in talks to buy Swedish media group Bonnier's broadcasting business.
In 2017 GET and TDC Norway reported revenues of 4 billion Norwegian crowns and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of 1.7 billion crowns.
Telia said it expected the deal to generate 600 million Norwegian crowns of synergies by 2021 while integration costs were seen at about 200 million annually during 2019 and 2020.
The deal is subject to approval from relevant authorities and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, Telia said.
(Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)