Newspaper claims Danish incumbent may launch takeover bid for Swedish ISP Com Hem.

Swedish incumbent Telia is mulling a possible takeover bid for its Danish counterpart TDC, it emerged late on Thursday.

This is according to sources cited by Swedish news outlet Dagens Industri. The newspaper claimed that TDC is considering a move for Swedish ISP Com Hem in order to avoid being taken over.

According to the report, Telia buying TDC – which is valued at 40 billion Swedish kronor (€4.2 billion) – would be one of the biggest ever acquisitions by a listed Swedish company.

In order to defend itself, TDC is reportedly considering a move for Com Hem. Were that to happen, Swedish regulators would not then allow Telia to take control of TDC, on competition grounds. Or, if Telia’s takeover of TDC were still to proceed, Telia would have to undertake the complex and expensive task of divesting Com Hem in order to appease the authorities.

TDC might not need to take such a defensive measure, however. In 2015, Telia and Norwegian incumbent Telenor abandoned their plan to merge their Danish operations due to staunch opposition from the European Union’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

Furthermore, according to Dagens Industri’s sources, Telia would have to carry out a rights issue in order to fund a takeover. That could face opposition from the Swedish government, which holds 37% of Telia, and would have concerns about its stake potentially being diluted.