(Adds background, details)
STOCKHOLM, April 3 Nordic telecom operator Telia
Company said on Monday a deal to sell its stake in
Tajik operator Tcell had lapsed as the authorities in Tajikistan
had not given their approval in time.
It announced an agreement in September to sell its 60
percent holding in Tcell to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic
But months later the sale had not been approved by the
Tajikistan Anti-Monopoly Commission and in February Telia sought
a meeting with the Tajik prime minister.
"We are now assessing alternative ownership solutions for
Tcell," Emil Nilsson, Telia's Eurasia head, said in a statement
The company is gradually withdrawing from Central Asian
markets, including Tajikistan, after being hit by investigations
into alleged corruption and problems accessing cash in the
Telia's Tajik operations are reported as discontinued
operations and the book value of Telia's interests has been
adjusted to zero. The price agreed in September was around $13
million in equity value.
Telia has sold its Nepal business but has yet to sell its
stake in Fintur Holdings, which has operations in Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova, as well as operations in
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Daniel Dickson and