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Telenor and TeleDanmark in talks of merging

Telenor, Norway's telecommunications provider, and TeleDanmark, its Danish counterpart, are in talks aimed at what would be the first merger between two former state-owned telecom companies. A merger would make the companies the largest Nordic telecom company worth more than NOK 160 billion, with more than 30,000 employees. According to Verdens Gang, the negotiations have supposedly been going on for several months. Telenor today owns 53.3 per cent of the shares of Denmark's second largest mobile phone company, Sonofon. Before a merger with TeleDanmark could take place, Telenor would have to sell off its shares to Sonofon. "We want to strengthen our position in the Nordic region and there are a spate of alternative" ways to do that, Dag Melgaard, a Telenor spokesman said. Nordic phone companies are looking to expand in each others markets to sustain growth as more than seven out of ten people in the region already have cellular phones.