EQT Will Pay Up to $306M for Ventelo

Swedish private equity firm EQT will pay up to 1.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($306 million) to buy Norway’s second largest data and telecoms provider, Ventelo, Reuters reported Wednesday.

(Reuters) – Swedish private equity fund EQT VI said on Wednesday it would buy Norway’s second largest data and telecoms provider, Ventelo, for an equity value of up to 1.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($306 million).

EQT said Ventelo, which controls one of only two nationwide fibre networks in Norway, was expected to have revenues of 2.6 billion Norwegian crowns in 2011 and EBITDA of around 400 million.

“By acquiring Ventelo, EQT VI is taking another step towards improving the high speed fibre network offering by building a strong challenger in the Norwegian data and telecom market,” Anders Misund, Partner and Head of EQT Partners Norway, said in a statement.

EQT said that Norwegian companies had lower data speeds and capacity than many people have in their homes and that data traffic would continue to grow in the country.

EQT, through its EQT V fund, already owns InFiber in Norway, which owns and operates an optical fibre network in the Greater Oslo area.

There has been a flurry of activity by private equity firms in the Nordic region in recent weeks as they look to take advantage of depressed prices.

This week, private equity-backed Cidron Delfi launched a 2.0 billion crown ($292 million) bid for Orc Group, a provider of software and services for brokerages and traders.

Last week, Nordic Capital and CVC said they would form a leading Swedish chocolate and candy company by joining LEAF with well-known name Cloetta.

EQT also plans to sell Finnish toilet and bath maker Sanitec, a deal that could fetch around 1 billion euros, sources told Reuters earlier in the month.