Belgium’s Proximus has finalised an agreement to take 100% ownership of its international wholesale arm BICS (formerly known as Belgacom International Carrier Services) and subsidiary TeleSign by acquiring MTN and Swisscom’s shares in the company (20% and 22.4% of issued shares respectively) for a total cash consideration of EUR217 million (USD262 million). The enterprise value of the transaction amounts to EUR569 million.
In a press release, BICS claimed the acquisition will enable the company ‘to accelerate its growth plans through a combination of organic investments in key domains, a strict focus on cashflow generation within its core services, and capturing in-market consolidation opportunities’.
Proximus revealed last summer that BICS shareholders were collectively exploring a potential sale of 51% of the company. After investigating different options, however, Proximus has concluded that the best way to execute upon its plans and have the necessary flexibility to create long-term value for BICS (including TeleSign) was to acquire 100% ownership. MTN and Swisscom will remain important commercial partners of BICS. ‘I am excited to conclude this agreement, allowing us to retain a growth engine within the Group and maintain full control over the globally renowned assets of BICS,’ said Guillaume Boutin, CEO of the Proximus Group. ‘I am convinced we can unlock the next growth phase of BICS and leverage BICS’ potential to consolidate a scattered market, while continuing to invest in key growth areas.’