Swedish telco Telia Company has agreed to sell its Danish operations to energy & telecommunications group Norlys for 6.25 billion Danish crowns ($919.85 million).

It comes as Telia notes that its strategy is to focus on markets where it can obtain and defend a leading market position.

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Telia said that the sale will enable it to reduce debt and comes a few months after Telia warned its fourth-quarter results would be hit by several non-cash impairments totaling close to 19.8 billion crowns ($2bn).

Its origins in Denmark go back to 1995, as a result of a merger between Telia Stofa and TeliaSonera. It's the third-biggest mobile operator in Denmark, behind TDC and Telenor.

Earlier this year, the operator revealed it was cutting up to 1,500 jobs during 2023, blaming the 'challenging macro environment.'

"Today’s announcement presents an exciting opportunity for our Danish business and colleagues to become part of a new national challenger, with owners who are renowned for their long-term view of both energy and digital infrastructure," said Allison Kirkby, Telia Company president and CEO.

"The transaction crystallizes value from both the outstanding work of the Telia Denmark team who have led such an impressive turnaround of the business during the last 18 months and from the leading 5G digital infrastructure that we have built up in the country. After closing, our Danish customers will have access to a broader set of products and services from Norlys, and Telia will focus even more on markets where we can sustain or build a leading position," Kirkby added.

Niels Duedahl, Norlys CEO, said: “Combining Telia’s mobile network with our fiber business will enable Norlys to provide a full-service solution in Denmark, paving the way for significant growth opportunities. A strong mobile arm will expand our position as the number one challenger in the Danish market and add to our presence across both the digital and green value chains.”

As for the buyer, Norlys, the Scandinavian company is based in Oslo, Norway, and specializes in providing electricity and Internet services. Norlys owns TV & Internet provider Stofa and energy firm Netselskabet N1.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, pending regulatory approvals.

Apart from its home market in Sweden, Telia also operates in Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.