Nkom consulting on potential transfer of licences from ice to Lyse

3 Mar 2022

Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has launched a consultation on the potential transfers of mobile spectrum licences from ice to Lyse, following the latter’s recent announcement of an agreement to buy ice. In a press release regarding the matter, Nkom said that – while it had yet to take a position on the proposed acquisition itself – it was looking to consult on the spectrum licence transfer now ‘out of consideration for efficient use of time’. Although the regulator has said it will assess the transfer of all spectrum allocations currently held by ice to Lyse, it noted it would pay particular attention to frequencies in the 3.6GHz band. This, it said, is because both ice and Lyse subsidiary Altibox hold spectrum in this band, which when combined would broach a 120MHz cap that was set as part of its 3.6GHz frequency auction which concluded in September 2021.

A deadline of 16 March 2022 has been set for submissions to the consultation, with Nkom noting that the shortened timeframe for its examination of the matter is ‘partly because the time of decision is very decisive for the parties to the transfer’.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month regional energy supplier Lyse entered into a Heads of Terms agreement to acquire Ice Group Scandinavia Holdings (IGSH) from Ice Group and its subsidiary AINMT. This proposed transaction includes the acquisition by Lyse of all issued and outstanding shares of IGSH and such additional assets and shares, including 100% of the shares of mobile operator ice, Phonepartner Norge Holding and Ice Retail Holding. With it noted that deal implies an enterprise value of approximately NOK5.56 billion (USD618 million), Ice Group has said it expects to receive cash proceeds of approximately NOK3 billion, while the transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.