Finnish Mobile Carrier DNA Weighs Sale to Private Equity or IPO

DNA Oy, a Finnish wireless carrier, is weighing a sale to a private-equity firm and an initial public offering as options to broaden its ownership.

DNA, owned by a group of Finnish regional phone carriers led by Finda Oy, said its plans will become clearer within the next few months, according to a statement today. Keeping the current ownership structure is an option, the Helsinki-based company said.

A sale would provide the shareholders with cash, while potentially strengthening DNA against larger rivals Elisa Oyj and TeliaSonera AB. The IPO could be the biggest in Finland, home of Nokia Oyj and “Angry Birds” maker Rovio Entertainment Oy, since 2005.

DNA’s market value is probably about 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion), Mikko Ervasti, an analyst at Evli Bank Oyj in Helsinki, said in March. Though the company’s profitability has trailed rivals, it will probably boost margins this year and next as it adds subscribers and curbs costs, according to the analyst.

DNA’s sales increased 5.7 percent to 769 million euros last year and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 1.2 percent to 191 million euros, according to its website. DNA’s wireless service covers more than 5 million Finns and the company also owns a cable-television network in the Helsinki area.

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