October 23, 2019 / 7:51 AM / a month ago

Telenor still on lookout for deals after failed Axiata M&A: CEO

FILE PHOTO: Telenor's logo is seen in central Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor ASA (TEL.OL) said it is still interested in potential mergers and acquisitions following the failed deal between its Asian business and Malaysia’s Axiata Group (AXIA.KL).

“We will be looking at value-creating opportunities,” Chief Executive Sigve Brekke told a conference call on Wednesday. He declined to elaborate on what those opportunities could be.

Telenor and Axiata in September called off their proposed deal to create a telecoms joint venture with nearly 300 million customers across South Asia and Southeast Asia, blaming “complexities” in the project.

The Norwegian firm recently completed a takeover of Finnish telecoms operator DNA and on Tuesday announced the planned merger of its Canal Digital TV distribution business with Sweden’s Nordic Entertainment Group AB (NENTb.ST).

“We are value driven at anything we do on mergers and acquisitions ... We were value driven in DNA, value driven in Axiata and we will be value driven in anything else we do,” Brekke said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Telenor reported third-quarter profits in line with analysts’ forecasts and reiterated its full-year outlook. The company said it will present an updated strategy in late January 2020.

Telenor’s shares were down 0.9% after the results at 0849 GMT, underperforming a 0.3% drop in the Oslo benchmark index.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Nerijus Adomaitis and Susan Fenton

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