December 9, 2022

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Energy giant Lesse devours Norway's third largest mobile operator

Energy giant Lesse devours Norway’s third largest mobile operator

Strømkjempen buys Lyse Ice, Norway’s third largest mobile operator after Telenor and Telia, according to Friday message.

Usually, such messages are very good news on the stock exchange, but this time it is not the case. aIn fact, the share of the ice group was completely sent over the cliff and dropped by 40 percent on Friday afternoon.

The company is now priced at just under NOK 290 million on the stock exchange – a huge contrast to the fact that the agreement values ​​the company at NOK 5.56 billion.

The interpretation is that according to the agreement, the owner Ice Group will be left without a mobile business, but with a fair number of other obligations to serve.

The company was in dispute with Goldentree Fund, which was a lender to Ice subsidiary AINMT Holdings, which allegedly had 20 violations of the terms of the loan.

The parties have now reached a settlement that means Goldentree and the other creditors will receive a total of NOK 2.9 billion, while Lyse will pay NOK 3 billion for the Ice business. As a result, it will leave very little of its billions to shareholders.

The share has halved since November

Ice started five years ago and has grown exponentially. They now have 650,000 customers in Norway, but they have also lost a lot of money. In November, the group submitted a proposal to restructure the company to solve the problems. The announcement gave the stock market an immediate reaction that halved the value of Ice’s stock.

Just before the stock market opened on Friday, a temporary trading position for Ice stock was introduced. A little over an hour later, it was reported that Lycee had acquired the mobile phone company.

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Owned by Ice and Lyse, Altibox has approximately 1.5 million customers across broadband, mobile and television.

Management has spent a significant amount of time looking for the best long-term solution for the company and is very pleased to be not on the owner’s side, says Ice-top Eivind Helgaker in a statement.

More suitors

Refinancing was absolutely necessary for Ice, but the process was very demanding due to the complex capital structure and differing viewpoints among the company’s creditors.

The Ice board has received numerous bids and proposals for different structures and solutions from different investors, the company wrote in a statement to the stock exchange.