The Faeroese telecommunications company Føroya Tele has shown an interest in buying Vodafone’s Icelandic branch.
The story, which broke when the company chairman was interviewed on Faeroese television, confirming his company’s interest, is essentially one of expanding opportunities for the island nation of about 50,000 people in the wake of Iceland’s financial collapse. Companies once out of reach for smaller investors are now within range for purchase. The hope is that when Iceland’s economy bounces back, so will the value of these companies.
A press agent for Vodafone would not confirm or deny the story, but did say different parties had expressed an interest in buying Vodafone Iceland.
The situation gets more interesting when a closer look is taken at who owns who. Not too long ago Landsbanki owned the majority of Teymi, Vodafone’s holding company. Bank manager Ásmundur Stefánsson told RÚV that it’s not clear what will be done with Teymi’s holdings. Teymi also owns Vodafone Faeroe Islands – Føroya Tele’s sole competitor. While the possible takeover would effectively eliminate any competition for Føroya Tele, it is unclear to anyone at Grapevine whether or not it would in fact be illegal, either according to Faeroese law or Danish law (as the Faeroe Islands are a colony of Denmark). Any Faeroese readers who can shed more light on this matter are welcome to contact the Grapevine.