Finnish mobile firm DNA is for sale as ex-Nokia team starts up

 
City A.M. Reporter
BANKERS are putting together just under €1bn (£839.8m) in financing for a potential sale of Finnish mobile phone company DNA, banking sources said yesterday.

Swiss bank UBS, financial adviser to DNA, sent out information memorandums to prospective buyers earlier this month on the deal.

The first round of an auction process for DNA’s sale is expected in June and Swedish buyout firms EQT and Nordic Capital are likely to submit bids as are at least two other private equity firms including BC Partners and Cinven, bankers said.

EQT, Nordic Capital, BC Partners and Cinven declined to comment. DNA was not immediately available to comment.

DNA is controlled by companies that were previously local phone carriers in Finland. The largest shareholder is Finda Group, which owns close to 33 per cent.

The Finnish mobile market is fiercely competitive, with pressure on prices and sales. DNA’s larger rival Elisa has cut its 2013 outlook.

But that has not stopped another new entrant joining the fray.

Yesterday a group of ex-Nokia software developers unveiled its first smartphone, aiming to prove their former employer wrong by making a success of a technology dropped by the Finnish mobile phone maker.

Jolla was founded by Nokia’s former MeeGo software team that was shut down after the company decided to switch to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software in 2011.

It has just 70 employees and €11m in venture financing.