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Konzum shows interest in Telenor

The IT and telecom sector is one of the main focuses of the acquisition and development strategy of the Konzum group, and Telenorʼs activities fit in well with this strategy, Gellért Jászai, chairman-CEO of Konzum, said in response to queries from business portal portfolio.hu regarding the holdingʼs potential interest in the local operations of the Norwegian telco.

Financial website portfolio.hu asked Jászai to comment on market rumors that Konzum had made an indicative bid for the Hungarian mobile operations of Norwegian telco Telenor, national news agency MTI reports.

Telenor said last Friday that it had received "inbound and unsolicited interest" for its mobile operations in Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary. Jászai added that Konzum would report a decision regarding any acquisition that affected the issuer or its shares, in line with capital market regulations.

Konzum is directly and indirectly majority owned by investor Lőrinc Mészáros, the mayor of Felcsút, the home village of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Jászai owns 10.43% of the shares.

Portfolio noted that Minister of the Prime Ministerʼs Office János Lázár spoke earlier of the need to have a state-owned mobile company after the April national elections. The website also noted Mészárosʼs good relations with the government. Earlier attempts to create a state mobile operator failed.

Telenor Hungary is one of Hungaryʼs three mobile phone operators, with a market share of almost 30% and 3.5 million individual and corporate subscribers;  it employs about 1,000. Portfolio.hu put the value of Telenor Hungary in the range of HUF 235-325 billion.

The price of Konzum shares closed 9.14% higher yesterday after falling earlier in the session.