Mobile and communications company Ice Group has been in crisis after crisis in recent months.
Then the debt-laden company In November last year put forward proposals for restructuringthe stock was more than half.
On Friday, the stock took another plunge, down 62 percent in one day.
It happened after the Ice Group sale of Lyse became known on Friday morning.
From a market capitalization of 488.9 million NOK on Friday morning, the market capitalization on Friday after the stock exchange was NOK 186 million.
Ice Group will be left with three billion kroner after the acquisition, but will have to spend most of the amount on resolving the dispute with the lender Goldentreeand settlement with other lenders. Total costs will be NOK 2.9 billion, and the company wrote in a stock exchange announcement that there will be little left for shareholders.
leave with crumbs
Legally, Lyse Ice Group is buying the Scandinavian holdings, not the actual stock company of Ice Group asa, listed on Euronext Expand.
Practically all of Ice’s operations and operating activities are handled by Lyse, with three billion employees and assets.
– Lyse does not buy the group tip in Ice, the debt is at the group level. For Ice Group shareholders, there is limited value left after the transaction. Less than NOK 100 million, says Espen Resholm, the investor in charge of Ice Group.
Ice Group will continue to be listed on the stock exchange.
It would be an empty business with no operations that would pay creditors and likely be for a few more months, says Richholm.
A new Norwegian industrial adventure
With the acquisition, Lis ensures control of the Ice Communication Norge AS, Phonepartner Norge Holding AS and Ice Retail Holding AS companies.
The acquisition of Ice will establish Lyse as a full-fledged telecom operator in line with Telenor and will provide a boost to Norway’s overall telecom infrastructure. By acquiring Lyse along with the owner, Ice will be able to become a more robust mobile operator that will be able to compete more strongly in the Norwegian telecommunications market. This will provide more freedom of choice, better customer experiences, and more satisfied customers, Remote Executive Vice President, Toriel Nag at Les says in a press release.
Eivind Helgaker, CEO of Ice Group, says Ice is very happy to have a not on the owner’s side.
This purchase marks the beginning of a new Norwegian industrial venture. Together, we have world-leading infrastructure and skilled professionals, and we are equipped to achieve more together than we could achieve on our own, says Helgaker.
“Lack of sleep”
Negotiations between Lacey and Ace took place overtime yesterday.
We worked all night from Thursday and evening until Thursday. There wasn’t much sleep. We signed the agreement just early today. It was a nerve-wracking morning. Nag says you are not finished till you finish.
Executive Vice President of Lyse tele confirmed that the parties had a good dialogue.
– Everyone has seen that this is strategically correct for customers as well. We have a national fiber network, while Ice has a national mobile network. Nag says our most important goal now is to accelerate investment.
Together, the two companies have nationwide infrastructure and a large share of mobile frequencies for both 4G and 5G. It facilitates initiatives that will benefit both consumers, businesses, industry and the public sector.
Today, Lyse is on a par with Telenor in broadband, while Ice has a market share of about 12 percent in the mobile market.
The potential for us to be a good deal is greater than we are today.
Ice will continue to maintain its head office in Nydalen in Oslo, with Eivind Helgaker as the first manager.
“I hope and expect all employees to continue at Ice,” says Nag.
Speculation since before Christmas
Industrially, Lyse-owned telecommunications company Altibox has what Ice lacks, and vice versa, if the companies are to become a full-fledged competitor to Telenor and Telia. In all, Ice and Altibox have 1.5 million customers on mobile, broadband, and TV.
In addition to mobile coverage, Telenor and Telia also offer broadband and television. In the summer of 2018, Telia bought broadband and television company Get for NOK 21 billion. With this purchase, Telia acquired 518,000 homes and businesses on Get’s Fiber network, and thus was able to offer customers the same as Telenor.
This fall, Telenor, Telia, Ice and Altibox bought 5G frequencies for a total of NOK 3.4 billion. Altibox bought 5G frequencies for 844 million kroner, while Ice traded 5G frequencies for 554 million kroner.
Projected restructuring plans
In mid-November, Ice Group submitted a restructuring proposal which included a capital increase of NOK 2.5 billion.
The money was to be used, among other things, to cover a payment of NOK 1.5 billion in a settlement entered into by the company, after a years-long dispute over a loan agreement with lender Goldentree. The rest was to be used for 5G mobile network development and other investments.
It ended with a disastrous day for Ice Group’s stock price, as more than 60 percent of the company’s entire stock market values were wiped out.
Since then, silence has prevailed from the telecom competitor, in front of the company in December last year, just one month after submitting the restructuring plan, She stated that she rejected the proposed solution.
Kristiansand-based investment firm Rasmussengruppen is the second largest shareholder in Ice.
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