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Sonera Sold 1.1 Million Powertel Shares for EUR 75 Million.

Business Editors

HELSINKI, Finland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 22, 2001

In compliance with terms of the agreement of August 28, 2000 on the sale of Powertel, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTEL) shares to Deutsche Telekom AG, Sonera (HEX: SRA, NASDAQ: SNRA) has utilized the right to sell up to 17.5% of its existing Powertel shares within the period extending from the shareholders' meeting of Powertel to the completion of the transaction. The shares sold today represent approximately 17.1 % of Sonera's Powertel shares. The shares were placed with Deutsche Bank.

The overall consideration of the transaction was approximately EUR 75 million. As previously announced, the proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Sonera's debt. Sonera will record a gain of approximately EUR 30 million from the transaction in the second quarter of the year.

In the summer of 2000, Sonera signed an agreement on selling its shares in two U.S. GSM operators, VoiceStream Wireless Corporation (NASDAQ: VSTR) and Powertel, Inc., to Deutsche Telekom. After the present sale, the overall value of Sonera's remaining VoiceStream and Powertel shares, based on the closing price of May 21, 2001, totals about EUR 2.2 billion, of which the amount to be paid in cash is about EUR 310 million. The rest of the Sonera's VoiceStream shares will be paid in the form of Deutsche Telekom shares.

Both the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the justice department have cleared the transaction. Sonera estimates that the transaction will be completed as originally scheduled, i.e. by the end of June.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 22, 2001
Words:258
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