TeliaSonera has said it will “continue to develop” its Spanish mobile operator business Yoigo after failing to find a buyer.

The Scandinavian operator put Yoigo up for sale because it didn’t “match” its other operations.

Rivals FT-Orange and Vodafone were understood to be interested, but TeliaSonera CEO Per-Arne Blomquist said the price was not right.

“We have been prepared to divest [Yoigo] if we were offered a price which fully reflects its future potential. As this requirement has not been met, we have discontinued the sales process and look forward to continue developing the company,” said Blomquist in a statement.

He added that Yoigo has “great potential for further development”, but admitted that its market strategy “does not quite match our other operations”.

During 2012, Yoigo’s net sales grew 12.5 percent in local currency to €1 billion.

The operator has 3.7 million subscribers, making it the fourth largest mobile operator in Spain behind Telefónica’s Movistar, Vodafone and Orange.

TeliaSonera describes Yoigo as “a challenger with a clear price leading strategy”.

The Spanish market is becoming increasingly competitive as operators look to keep hold of customers in the economically challenged country.

Telefónica and Vodafone have both struggled as they have stopped handset subsidies although FT-Orange has benefitted from growth. 

Last November, Spain became the first country to launch the joyn RCS to customers.

TeliaSonera’s failure to find a buyer highlights the problems that operators in western Europe are having in selling some of their assets.

Last year, for example, KPN was unable to offload Belgium outfit BASE and German-based operator E-Plus. 

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